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New York tops nation in fire deaths: What’s driving the numbers?

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  • Staff Report 

As wildfire season escalates with summer’s heat, The Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) has raised alarm about the state’s grim statistics: New York leads the nation in fire-related fatalities this year. As of the week of July 14, New York has seen 98 fire deaths in 2023, nearly twice as many as Ohio and Texas, the next highest states with 59 each.


According to data from the United States Fire Administration, a significant portion of these fatalities, 48 of 98, occurred in homes lacking functioning smoke alarms. In response, FASNY is advocating for broader access to fire safety equipment, including smoke detectors, to help reduce these numbers. The association believes such safety measures are crucial to mitigating fire-related fatalities in the state.

In addition to improved access to fire safety equipment, FASNY is supporting measures such as legislation for tax exemptions on smoke alarms and other home fire safety devices, restoration of fire and building code funding for localities, and stricter enforcement and penalties for code violations. The urgency for action is underscored by New York’s history of leading the nation in fire deaths in 2017, 2018, and 2019.