NEW YORK — New York City investigators say public housing maintenance workers ignored safety checks and covered it up.

The Department of Investigation said in a report Tuesday that it re-inspected 240 apartments at five developments recently visited by maintenance workers. Over half the apartments had deficiencies that should have been caught by the workers.

In April, a fire killed two children at the Butler Houses in the Bronx. Investigators say a maintenance worker had been to the apartment just hours earlier and falsely reported that the smoke alarms were working.

New York City Housing Authority spokeswoman Jean Weinberg says safety is the agency’s top priority. The authority says that in addition to disciplinary actions, it has improved inspection protocols and training. It launched an internal audit and awareness campaign in June.