New executive order seeks to prevent more fires like the one that killed 17 people in the Bronx

Almost two and a half months after the fire in the 19-story Twin Parks building in the Bronx that left 17 dead, 8 of them childrenand 66 injured, Mayor Eric Adams this week signed the Executive Order 12 to strengthen fire safety enforcement and improve awareness of fire safety among New Yorkers.

With this new order, Mayor seeks to increase coordination between the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), to identify buildings with a high number of fire safety violations and thus improve inspections by the FDNY.

“We must work to equip every New Yorker and every building in this city with the tools to prevent an unspeakable tragedy like the one we saw two months ago,” said the Adams, referring to the accident at Twin Parks, located at 333 E. 181st street in the Tremont neighborhood.

But besides strengthen security measuresthe Mayor’s executive order also calls for the FDNY and HPD to launch an outreach campaign to educate New Yorkers about fire safety, and calls for the passage of additional safety legislation, including sensible sprinkler retrofit legislation, higher fines for owners who falsely report that they have resolved the violations of not having self-closing doors.

“As we continue to provide critical support to families affected by the fire, we are working closely with the Gibson County President, Councilman Feliz and our partners across government and beyond, to fix this problem at its roots. Today’s actions are an essential step towards the goal of preventing this type of tragedy from happening again,” added the municipal president.

Precisely the president of the Bronx Vanessa Gibson reacted to Admas’ measure, indicating that we are turning our pain “into a purpose to make sure we protect future New Yorkers. The executive order that strengthens the application and scope of fire safety is a proactive step that will save lives and will help ensure that there is no repeat of what happened in January in Twin Parks.”

Meanwhile, the acting FDNY commissioner Laura Kavanaugh said, “Educating New Yorkers about fire safety is one of the most important goals of the Fire Department, and one we take very seriously.. These new partnerships will strengthen the work we already do and help us reach residents most in need. in every corner of the city on education and fire prevention”.

And the HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. He stressed that now, in addition to checking for self-closing doors, smoke detectors, and other safety-critical items at every routine inspection, “our inspectors will also check that the Fire Safety Notice is posted on each apartment door, the which provides vital life-saving information on what to do in the event of a fire. All New Yorkers should have a fire safety plan and contact their property owners if there are security problems in their homes or file a complaint with 311 if the problems are not corrected.”

The Mayor will also work with the City Council to enact additional fire safety legislation, including sensible sprinkler retrofits and legislation that increases fines for homeowners who falsely report they have fixed a self-closing door violation.

Key points of the executive order:

  • In addition to looking for housing code violations, HPD inspectors will now look for compliance with the FDNY requirement that the Fire Safety Notice be posted on the apartment front door.
  • HPD will provide the FDNY with access to all issued fire safety violations beginning January 1, 2021. The FDNY will use this information to conduct more frequent inspections of buildings with a high number of violations.
  • FDNY inspectors will conduct enhanced inspections to post violations and fire signs.
  • FDNY and HPD will conduct an extensive fire safety education outreach campaign, including education related to smoke detectors, self-closing doors, and stove knob covers. The outreach to residents will include information on what to do in the event of a fire, and building owners will be reminded of their legal obligations related to fire safety.
  • The FDNY will work with the Department of Education to conduct outreach activities in schools, including educating teachers, staff, and students on proper fire safety and evacuation procedures.