Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fire Department's Visit

Things are moving along! This is good!

We now have cameras in the building. I have heard the odd moan that now there is no privacy. To that I have to say, "Who in their right mind expects to find privacy in a public hall?"

For those of us that just want a modicum of security, this is good news. For those of us that are fed up to the ying yang with false fire alarms, this is good news. Those of us who go to bed to sleep and not to hear drug addicts and pushers banging in and out of the fire doors, this is good news. The hope is that this will either discourage this nerve wracking behaviour or that it will identify the dudes and/or dudesses of this nerve wracking behaviour. If you can identify the culprits, catch them in the act, you can stop the noise and destruction.

That is the good news about the cameras. The bad news is that they are not all properly calibrated yet. So Housing would ask any tenant who sees or hears anything that has to do with the problem behaviours , to take note of the time. This will enable the police to find the clip faster. Fast retrieval of the clip makes it faster and easier to I.D. the bad dude and arrest him/her.

Most of us who use Door #4 know that the Intercoms do not all work at this door. In an earlier post, I mentioned that Marion Dunning has told me that they are to be fixed. Tonight I found out that all the panels at all the doors are to be replaced. That is the good news. The not so great news is that the panels have to be brought in from Montreal so it will be a few days. Either Marion or myself or both of us will let you know when they are up and working. Of course, if you watch the closed circuit TV channel, you might just get to see the work being done from your easy chair.

Tonight was the night the Fire Department came to talk to us about Fire Prevention. Mr. Daigle from the Fire Department had some interesting things to say. One of them was that, due to the materials and method used to build this building, this is the best type of building to live in should there be a fire. Each apartment is safe in all except very extreme cases, from spreading fire. What that means is that if a fire happens in another apartment, your best bet is to close your doors and sit it out. It cannot spread to other apartments on its own. This is especially good for the physically disabled who may have difficulty getting out of the building, particularly if they live on a floor other than the ground floor.

One of the things that was discussed was the alarm checks we went through last month. The checking of the alarms is law and must be done. This year however, we had to sit through hours of ringing alarms. I don't know about you, but I was a total wreck after a day of that. Well I found out a few things about it. You can all stop blaming the Fire Department for that one. It is an independent company that does the checks. Since no one has ever had to sit through hours of alarms in past years, it seems that either the checkers were not well trained or were cutting corners or some such thing. Florence and Shaun from Ottawa Housing assured us that they would look into this and get back to us. I think maybe next year when the checks are carried out, we will not get the same treatment. Watch this blog to see what Housing's check on the checkers produces. :o)

Housing will be sending along some info on Neighbourhood Watch. In view of the things that go on around here, this might be a good thing for us to think of getting involved with. The rules have changed since Neighbourhood Watch talked to us last year. At that time, they wanted 50% of the tenants to be involved. That turned out to be unrealistic for us so it died on the drawing table. Apparently, this year, the rules are more realistic for us. When we get the lowdown on this, we will share it with all the tenants. Might be a way to make a difference around here. No one should have to live in fear, so give it some thought.

This country along with the rest of the free world is in a recession to one degree or another. Recessions mean that money is hard to get. Ottawa Housing has a lot of responsibilities - just read your lease. I could be wrong but I don't think I am. We can continue to accept the destruction of our building by a bunch of selfish, thoughtless punks who spend most of their time high on drugs, or we can help weed the bad guys out. We can decide to stop doing the little things that end up costing money. The lease says that Housing is responsible for keeping the halls clean and repaired. Our end of that responsibility is not to add to the mess or the destruction. The carpets look like they are ancient already but they are relatively new carpets. The walls look like they have not been painted in decades - they are covered with foot prints, writing, patch marks where the Maintenance Crews have filled in holes kicked or punched into them. The ceilings are full of holes - the ceilings for crying out loud.

Every one of us had a Mother or Father or siblings, maybe teachers - someone - who wanted more for the little babies we were way back when than life in a ghetto which is what 2100 is turning into. We are big enough and smart enough to do that for ourselves now - well that's what I keep telling people anyway. How about we make a deal with ourselves to try to keep 2100 from continuing on it's downward spiral. How about we try working to get it back up to where it was just a few short years ago. That does not mean you have to go out and scrub floors or paint walls. It means you don't toss your garbage on the floor. You don't punch holes in walls. You get off your duff and carry your garbage out to the garbage bin if it is large or the garbage rooms if it fits down the shoot. Call it getting a little exercise, if you need an excuse.

I have met the new CEO, JoAnne Poirier. I know she is willing to help but she is not our nursemaid. Tenants here in the building have to put a bit of effort into this place too.
So how about it? Are you going to be part of the solution? Because if you are not willing to put even a tiny bit of effort into this place, then you are part of the problem.

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