Nassau County, NY - June 5, 2015 - Representatives from the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) today joined with New York State Senator Jack Martins and Long Island volunteer firefighters to announce new smoke alarm legislation (S2696) – which aims to reduce house fire related deaths by requiring battery operated smoke alarms sold in New York State have batteries that are non-replaceable, non-removable and will power the device for a minimum of ten years.
“A working smoke alarm is the single most important appliance a person can have in their home to help protect themselves and their family in the event of a fire,” said FASNY President Robert McConville. “In addition, a working smoke alarm will alert residents to a dangerous condition and allow them time to self-evacuate. This in turn allows firefighters to operate without facilitating dangerous rescue attempts. We would like to thank Senator Martins for sponsoring this legislation, which represents a huge step in the battle to combat preventable fire related deaths and injuries among civilians and firefighters alike.”
“Working smoke alarms save lives; in many cases, they are the single most important factor between life or death in a fire. These types of smoke alarms not only improve safety in people’s homes; they are more convenient for homeowners and often cheaper overall because they don’t have batteries which must be continually replaced. This bill is a win on all fronts for residents, and I appreciate FASNY’s partnership as we work to get it passed into law,” said Senator Martins, a sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.
Each year in the United States, fire departments respond to over 300,000 home fires which claim the lives of thousands of people and injure countless others. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or working smoke alarms. All too often, firefighters arrive at a home to find smoke alarms installed, but the units have either been disconnected or have dead batteries. People frequently disconnect their smoke alarms when they are set off by cooking or other normal household activities, and neglect to replace the batteries.
This legislation has been dedicated to the memory of Tyler Doohan, a nine year old boy who died in a house fire in 2014 in Rochester after trying to help save members of his family. The home was not equipped with working smoke alarms.
“While consumer education and awareness are still paramount to fire safety and prevention, this legislation is the biggest step we can take as a state to combat preventable fire deaths and injuries in New York,” McConville said.
Founded in 1872, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) represents the interests of the more than 90,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York State. For more information, click here.