The initiative includes in-person events and an online marketing campaign. On May 18, 2022, the Housing Preservation and Development Department (HPD) and the FDNY launched a joint fire safety campaign. This new initiative follows Mayor Adams’ executive order in March, which called for increased firefighting and awareness efforts in the city following the fire at the Twin Parks building.
The “Keeping Homes Fire Safe” campaign aims to educate New Yorkers on six key fire safety tips:
Maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: While landlords must supply and install smoke detectors, tenants must maintain detectors by testing and replacing batteries. FDNY is also offering residents the opportunity to sign up for free smoke alarm installations through the Sound the Alarm program, a new initiative created in conjunction with the FDNY Foundation and the American Red Cross.
Close the door: When escaping from a fire in your home, always close the door. Self-closing doors are required in all residential buildings with 3 or more apartments.
Have an escape plan: In the event of a fire, it is important to have an evacuation plan. Landlords must post evacuation plans inside each apartment door and common area, and distribute them to new tenants, to each unit and annually.
Clear Outputs: By keeping exits clear, first responders can quickly access apartments and residents can easily escape.
Keep your kitchen safe: The area around your stove should be free of flammable objects such as paper towels and potholders, and children should be kept away from this area. Also, stand close to your pan and never leave food unattended while cooking.
Heat your home safely: When using a space heater, allow at least 3 feet of space from combustible materials. For electric heaters, never use an extension cord.
The campaign also encourages tenants to contact their landlord if fire safety issues are evident, such as blocked exits or doors that don’t close automatically. If the problems are not corrected, tenants can file a complaint with 311.
FDNY’s Fire Safety Education Unit and HPD’s Outreach Van are taking the new campaign on the road, educating landlords and renters in all five boroughs. Teams will provide a wide range of information at more than 20 awareness events throughout the summer, from filing a housing complaint to preventative fire safety measures, to prevent future building fires . The campaign will also include messaging through various media that will reach approximately 35,000 owners.
A document outlining the campaign’s six fire safety principles is available on the HPD website in ten languages.
According to Acting Fire Marshal Laura Kavanaugh, “Educating New Yorkers about how to prevent fires and keep their families safe is critical to the Department’s mission to save lives.”
Underscoring the city’s commitment to enhanced fire safety measures, HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. said, “We have all been struck by the tragedy of the Twin Parks fire. This education campaign is an important step in ensuring we have all the information we need to prevent another tragedy.
HPD: “HPD and FDNY Launch Fire Safety Awareness Campaign” (May 18, 2022).
By: strong cassidy (Cassidy is an intern at CityLaw and a student at New York Law School, Class of 2024.)