Mayor Adams Signs Sprinkler Legislation into Law to Help Keep NYC Buildings Safer

By Gus Sebo

NYC Executive Order 12 Calls for Sensible Retrofit Sprinkler Legislation

In response to the January 9th fire that left 17 people dead in the Bronx, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has signed Executive Order 12 that aims to strengthen enforcement and outreach of fire safety measures. This Order states that city agencies and the City Council are working on additional “fire safety” legislation including sensible sprinkler retrofit legislation.

Preventing Fatal Apartment Fires

The Twin Parks North West fire was the deadliest fire that New York City has seen since 1990 when 87 people died in an intentionally set fire in a Bronx nightclub. The fire was started by a space heater in a third-floor unit and caused deadly smoke to spread throughout the building when the apartment door failed to close as occupants evacuated.

Local Law 111 of 2018 requires all multifamily residential buildings to be equipped with self-closing doors which would prevent the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building. Executive Order 12 is calling for stronger enforcement of this law as well as enforcement of 3 RCNY $401-06 which requires landlords to post fire safety information including “close the door” signs and fire safety guides and checklists.

Fire Sprinkler Retrofits

While fire safety measures such as postings, bulletins and self-closing doors are very important, one of the most effective ways to prevent fire related injuries and deaths in apartment buildings is through fire sprinkler systems.

Executive Order 12 is calling for sensible fire sprinkler retrofit legislation in NYC. The Bronx apartment building in the January 9th fire had fire sprinklers in the compactor and the laundry room, per current code requirements. The building had no fire escapes which were not required when it was built in the early 1970s, but it was considered non-combustible with concrete-poured floors and ceilings, and it had 90-minute rated fire doors as well as working fire alarms. While those fire protection measures are important, having a fully sprinklered building is the most effective way to control or extinguish a fire and save lives.

Fire sprinkler systems work quickly and automatically, springing into action much faster than it takes the fire department to arrive at the scene of the fire. New fire sprinkler retrofit legislation could help to save lives of countless New Yorkers who live in older high-rise buildings that were built before fire sprinklers were required.

Fire Protection Inspections

One proactive measure that building owners can take today to help ensure that their building is fire safe and code compliant is to get their building inspected. Inspections for fire safety can include:

  • Inspections and testing of self-closing doors
  • Inspections for proper fire safety postings
  • Inspections and testing of fire sprinkler systems
  • Inspections and testing of fire alarm systems

When it comes to fire safety, don’t wait until it’s too late. Failing to inspect, maintain and repair your fire protection systems can have deadly consequences. Testing your fire systems can help you to identify any problems such as a self-closing door failing to close or a fire alarm not activating, so that it can be repaired in a timely manner before an emergency occurs.

W&M Installs & Services Fire Sprinkler Systems

W&M Fire Protection is a New York fire protection company offering design, installation, inspection, and service for fire sprinkler systems. We understand the importance of having working fire sprinkler systems in high rise buildings and we can work with you to keep your building compliant with local fire code. W&M has a team of NICET certified technicians who can inspect your fire protection systems and address any repair needs quickly and efficiently with minimal disruption to your business. To learn more about our services, contact us today.

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