The City of Palm Springs released a notice notifying businesses who have recently been forced to close their doors due to the stay-at-home orders that they cannot board up their windows.
“We understand that these are difficult times for business owners, but it is important they understand safety is our top priority,” said Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes.
This comes after the city's police and fire chiefs expressed their concerns about the problems it causes first responders.
Chief Reyes said the boards prevent officers from being able to see inside.
“We understand that these are difficult times for business owners, but it is important they understand safety is our top priority,” said Reyes.
Fire Chief Kevin Nadler noted that if a fire were to break out at one of those buildings, suppression and rescue operations would be delayed as firefighters are not able to quickly identify entry points and are forced to cut through boards unnecessarily for entry.
Chief Nadler added that if a secondary means of egress becomes necessary to save lives, those exits are also boarded, delaying egress during “precious life-saving minutes.”
“We are taking this matter seriously. This is a great opportunity for business owners to improve their security systems and makes sure their cameras are pointing in the appropriate directions so we can see what is going on inside,” Reyes said.
Arson rates increase significantly for boarded buildings, Nadler said, citing reports by the National Fire Protection Association and U.S. Fire Administration.