Tragedy has once again placed a national spotlight on fire sprinklers.
A recent fire at New York City's Trump Tower claimed the life of 67-year-old Todd Brassner and injured six firefighters, reports ABC News. The 50th-floor residence had no working smoke alarms or fire sprinklers. The fire's cause is believed to be accidental.
Completed in 1983, the building was constructed prior to the passage of a 1999 city law requiring sprinklers in new, residential buildings with four or more units. The law also applies to existing residential buildings that "undergo renovations costing 50 percent or more of the building's value," reports ABC.
According to one safety advocate in New York, this and subsequent state laws don't go far enough to protect the public. In an interview this week on ABC's "Good Morning America," Jerry DeLuca, executive director of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, said fire sprinklers must be required in all settings and homes. For years, he and others have championed for a sprinkler requirement for all New York homes, but the state's building code council has chosen not to adopt the model building code requirement for sprinklering new, one- and two-family homes when updating its building and fire codes. "Fire sprinklers absolutely save lives by giving people time to escape a fire," DeLuca, also a member of the New York Fire Sprinkler Initiative, told ABC. "They might not always put out the fire, but they allow residents time to escape."
The story's reporter also cited NFPA's statistic on sprinklers reducing the risk of dying in a fire by 80 percent.
Always the vocal safety advocate, DeLuca is constantly championing for safer homes. Read the commentary he submitted to NFPA last year following two home fires in two days that killed eight people. Please join him by becoming a vocal advocate for sprinklers in your region.