The New York City Fire Department reported 59 fire fatalities in 2015, the second lowest in the city's recorded history. (The lowest was in 2012, with 58 recorded fire deaths, according to a recent news release.) Local safety advocates are lauding these figures, which they attribute to the city's fire safety laws. However, they note, there's always room for improvement.
"While [these statistics] are significant, we believe the number can always go lower," stated Anthony Saporito, executive vice president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of New York, an organization representing the city's fire sprinkler contractors, fire sprinkler industry suppliers, and other industry-affiliated individuals and organizations. Safety advocates here, he added, "are committed to demonstrating the importance of installing, inspecting, testing, and maintaining" fire sprinklers.
Patrick Dolan, president of Steamfitters Local 638, emphasized the necessity of sprinklers in homes. Furnishings and building materials, he said, are creating deadlier fire scenarios for residents and the fire service. "That means building owners must be even more vigilant about following all laws and taking safety measures to protect their tenants and their property," Dolan stated in a news release.
Looking to bolster those laws guiding fire sprinkler installation is the New York Sprinkler Initiative. Recently, members of the group hand delivered more than 2,000 letters to the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council that support fire sprinklers in all new townhomes.