Penguins in the playoffs

Pittsburgh is coming for your porch couch so you don’t burn down the city if the Pens win

Where are there couches on porches in Pittsburgh? We mapped it.

Jeremy Gordon / Flickr
Sarah Anne Hughes

Pittsburgh is once again collecting couches and other upholstered, indoor furniture found on porches to prevent the fine citizens of this city from burning it to the ground should the Penguins win the Stanley Cup.

Unlike last year — when city crews targeted Lawrenceville, Oakland and the South Side — this year’s sofa patrol will cover all of Pittsburgh. (Couch burning, if you’re unaware, is A Sports Thing.)

According to fire Chief Darryl Jones, there were two sofa fires last year after the Pens won Game 6 against the San Jose Sharks, nabbing the Stanley Cup. Both were in the same spot on Mt. Washington.

“Someone up on Mt. Washington was trying to send me a message,” Jones joked at a press conference Friday. “Now I’m going to send one back.”

Mike Gable, director of the Public Works department, said crews began collecting couches earlier this week. He said a few couches have already been collected, but he couldn’t provide an exact number.

Pittsburgh is empowered to take your porch couch, thanks to a section of city code that states:

The use, keeping or storage of any upholstered furniture manufactured primarily for indoor use, including but not limited to mattresses and box springs, sofas and chairs, shall be prohibited on any front, back or side unenclosed porch, deck or balcony visible from any public or private place, sidewalk or highway.

Should the city take your couch — which we’re sure is of the *highest* quality — you can reclaim it within three days by making a report to your closest DPW division.

Want to keep it? Bring it inside, Gable said.

Pittsburgh may be expanding its search for illicit porch furniture this year, but the majority of offenders live in handful of neighborhoods. Using 311 data published by the Western Pa. Regional Data Center, The Incline mapped where calls and reports for “couch on porch” came in between July 2016 and May 2017 (14 entries didn’t have location data).

We see you, Oakland. We see you.

Want some more? Explore other Penguins in the playoffs stories.

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