Back in January, a terrible fire broke out in a West Bronx apartment building.
The 5-alarm fire was one of the worst in decades for NYC, claiming 17 lives including children and injuring 60 others. It broke out in a duplex building on East 181st St. around 11 a.m., and over 200 firefighters combated the flames as the day wore on.
One of the main revelations that came out of the heart-wrenching event was the lacking safety measures in the apartment complex. The cause of the fire was portable space heaters, and apartment and stairwell doors that were supposed to automatically close were somehow defective, allowing fire and smoke to spread throughout the building. Now, Mayor Eric Adams has announced a new series of safety protocols to help protect further New Yorkers in apartment buildings.
It comes in the form of Executive Order 12, which will “increase coordination between Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) inspectors to identify safety violations earlier and increase fire safety compliance.”
This includes (as shared in the press release):
- Working with City Council to enact sensible retrofit sprinkler legislation and legislation that increases fines for landlords who falsely report curing a self-closing door violation.
- Enhancing outreach efforts to educate New Yorkers on preventing fires and responding to fire emergencies. This entails residence outreach as well as outreach in schools.
- HPD inspectors will now look for compliance with FDNY’s requirement that the Fire Safety Notice is posted on the apartment’s entrance door.
- HPD will provide FDNY with access to all violations issued that pertain to fire safety since January 1, 2021. FDNY will use this information to conduct more frequent inspections of buildings with a large number of violations.
- FDNY inspectors will conduct enhanced inspections for fire signage and posting violations.
Hopefully these measures will help prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.