Roof Danger Across New England - NECN

Roof Danger Across New England



    (NECN: Alysha Palumbo - Fall River, Mass.) - This dramatic video of a roof caving in on top of people in Lynn, Massachusetts shows just one of several roof collapses throughout New England this week.

    While amazingly no lives have been lost, the snow from the recent barrage of nor'easters is weighing heavily on rooftops throughout the area.

    Chris Collings, the vice president of sales and marketing at Safe Roof Systems said, "This stuff is very wet, it's going to get heavier and heavier and it's not going to melt off."

    The inherent problem with flat roof buildings like this one is when you get a snow storm there can be some spots with no snow at all, others with large drifts like this one where buildings meet and that can create weaknesses in the roof that you don't even know about.

    Collings said, "As it melts down and freezes and then stays on the deck and then more snow comes on top, these weights come on fairly quickly."

    Mattapoisset-based company Safe Roof Systems has created a roof monitoring system that alerts building owners to a potential problem before there's a collapse.

    Tom Magauran, president of Safe Roof Systems said, "It uses infrared lasers and what we call targets and when the beams bend below a certain tolerance, the light beam is cut off."

    The system pinpoints where the roof has weakened and sends a zone specific message to a control panel in the building.

    "And it tells you where you need to take action," said Magauran, "so you can focus your resources only when you need to, only at the points that need it."

    Here at Diman Vocational Technical High School in Fall River, that notification also includes these strobe lights to alert everyone to evacuate.

    Superintendent Marty Monteleon said, "It's a safety net it doesn't mean that an incident cannot positively happen, but it means that if something did happen we wouldn't have anyone in here."