Press release:  SUNY-Purchase fire shows the need for New York to mandate fire sprinklers in college dorms

Blog Post created by lisamariesinatra Employee on Oct 12, 2016

College.JPGA recent 4-alarm fire, which broke out Labor Day Weekend in a student housing building at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase College highlights the importance of requiring all college dormitories to have automatic fire sprinklers, according to a recent press release sent out by the leaders of the New York Fire Sprinkler Council, a division of the Mechanical Contractors Association of New York.


Eight different Westchester County fire departments were called in to extinguish the fire, which forced dozens of students to move to temporary housing. The dorm, located on campus on “K Street”, did not have fire sprinklers installed.


“Thankfully no one was injured in the SUNY Purchase fire, but this incident highlights the risks of placing students in campus housing without fire suppression systems.” said Tony Saporito, Executive Vice President of the Mechanical Contractors Association of New York, Inc. “Automatic fire sprinklers not only put out fires quickly, but statistics prove they save lives and property.”


Pending New York State legislation, introduced by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-103, Ulster & Dutchess Counties), would require all SUNY and City University of New York (CUNY) campus dormitories to be retrofitted with fire-sprinklers (Assembly Bill #A1217). According to the release, there has never been any real urgency for the state to advance this public safety legislation first introduced in 2003, however, many in the fire services believe the need for action is long overdue.


Read the attached press release (below) for the full story. A more detailed look at the fire sprinkler efforts aimed at New York colleges can be found in a September 13 post written by my colleague, Fred Durso, communications manager for NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative.


As a reminder, NFPA, Campus Firewatch, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Fire Administration joined forces in May to launch the “See It Before You Sign It Campaign,” encouraging parents to take a more active role in helping their loved ones choose secure, fire-safe housing for the school year. This includes considering residences with fire sprinklers. For more, including resources, statistics, checklists, tips and videos, visit the Campus Firewatch webpage or by visiting