Albany, NY (August 5, 2014) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S5212A, A7641A) to strengthen precautions against residential fires, requiring written and bolded notice to prospective tenants of whether or not a particular home has a fire sprinkler system. Additionally, Governor Cuomo today signed legislation (A7916A, S4610A) that requires builders of certain family housing to provide buyers with information on the installation and maintenance of automatic sprinkler systems.
"We have witnessed far too much senseless tragedy caused by avoidable fires," Governor Cuomo said. "These new protections will give New Yorkers more information about the homes they choose to live in, which will allow them to make decisions on how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe."
In January 2012, Marist College student Kerry Rose Fitzsimons, along with two others, died in a fire in an off-campus housing unit. Following this tragedy, her family and friends started the "Kerry Rose Foundation" to educate college students about fire prevention and safety, and in July of 2013, the Governor signed the Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act. This law necessitates that colleges and universities provide written fire safety information to each student living in a college-owned facility, including whether or not the housing facility is equipped with a fire sprinkler system.
The bills signed today calls for all new leases to provide, in bold face type, the existence or non-existence of fire sprinkler systems, as well as require builders to give buyers of one- and two-family homes information about automatic fire sprinkler systems.
Senator Catharine Young said, "At a time when new homeowners are making the biggest investment of their lives, many are unsure of the facts when it comes to deciding on whether or not to install a sprinkler system in their new home. To make a confident and informed decision on what's best for them and their family, they need to have good information on the benefits and cost of sprinklers. This law will provide the transparency they deserve and ensure that homeowners know their options and can make a good decision to protect their property and families."
Senator John Flanagan said, "This new law will ensure that every family has the information they need to protect their loved ones. The Fitzsimons family deserves our deep gratitude for their courage and vigilance in helping to protect the lives of all New Yorkers on behalf of their daughter Kerry Rose. I thank them for their continued leadership on this issue and thank Governor Cuomo for his support of this important law."
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said, "Ensuring our homes and buildings are equipped with the necessary fire prevention safety measures is one of the single most important things we can do to dramatically reduce fatality rates. Yet, the data clearly demonstrates that the majority of fire-related deaths transpire in homes without working sprinkler devices and smoke alarms. This legislation seeks to ensure that builders of newly constructed one- and two-family dwellings provide buyers with the necessary information to make informed decisions about the purchase of automatic fire sprinkler systems. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo for his attention and commitment to this issue."
Assemblyman Michael G. DenDekker said, "It is critically important that leaseholders know whether or not their homes are equipped with sprinkler systems so they are fully prepared to deal with any fire emergencies that may happen. I want thank Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation and helping to protect the safety of all New Yorkers, and also give a special thanks to the Kerry Rose Foundation for their work advocating for fire safety.