LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles City Council moved to improve interdepartmental cooperation in addressing the issue of hoarding, or “excessive storage.”

On a motion by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the council approved a Los Angeles Fire Department report intended to improve coordination between the LAFD and the city’s Building and Safety and Housing and Community Investment departments in inspecting buildings and homes for excessive hoarding that would pose a threat to public safety.

“The policy on excessive accumulation, and the collaborative work by the various departments to ensure its implementation, is helping to keep Angelenos safer,” O’Farrell said in December when then issue was discussed by the Public Safety Committee.

He said the “multi-jurisdictional agreement ensures the reporting of dwellings with excessive fuel sources so that we can better protect the individuals in need, neighbors and the first-responders when they arrive at the scene of a fire. The city can now act much more carefully and efficiently with this cooperation agreement.”

O’Farrell’s motion said hoarding is a medical disorder and the homes of hoarders “pose a significant threat to the safety and well-being of the occupants, their neighbors and first-responders who often must respond to emergency situations brought on by those afflicted with this disorder.”

The motion said a fire at the home of a hoarder in Atwater Village in December 2013, and another one at the same residence 13 months later, “exposed significant deficiencies in dealing with this particular location and has provided an opportunity to improve attention to issues involving hoarding cases from a mental health, public safety and enforcement perspective.”

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