New York State has the highest number of fire deaths in the country, according to data from the Firefighters Association of New York (FASNY). As of March 2023, 45 people have died in fires in the state.
Fire officials attribute the high number of fatalities to several factors. “No. 1, New York has a large population. No. 2, much of that population is in dense, urban areas. And No. 3, those areas have old building stock,” explained FASNY Secretary John D’Alessandro.
To address the issue, the firefighters association is urging lawmakers in Albany to pass two pieces of legislation. The first would require that fire insurance fees contribute to increased building inspections and code enforcement. The second bill would establish a one-month sales tax holiday each year for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as fire extinguishers.
The proposed legislation aims to improve building safety and reduce the number of fire deaths in the state. The firefighters association believes that greater funding for building inspections and code enforcement could prevent fires from occurring in the first place, while the tax holiday for fire safety equipment would encourage more people to purchase and install these essential devices.
As FASNY continues to analyze fire data and advocate for fire safety legislation, New York residents are urged to take precautions to protect themselves and their families. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in every home, and fire extinguishers should be readily accessible in case of emergency. By working together to prioritize fire safety, New York can reduce the number of fire-related fatalities and create a safer future for all residents.
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