HPD and FDNY Announce Coordinated Fire Safety Education Campaign

HPD and FDNY Officials share fire safety tips with the public as part of their new campaign. Image Credit: HPD.

The initiative includes in-person events and an online marketing campaign. On May 18, 2022, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the FDNY launched a joint fire safety campaign. This new initiative follows through on Mayor Adams’ March executive order, which called for strengthening the City’s fire safety enforcement and outreach efforts in the wake of the Twin Parks building fire.

The “Keeping Homes Fire Safe” campaign aims to educate New Yorkers on six key fire safety tips:

Maintain Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: While property owners must provide and install smoke detectors, tenants should maintain detectors through testing and replacing batteries. FDNY is also offering residents an opportunity to sign up for free smoke alarm installations through the Sound the Alarm Program, a new initiative created in collaboration with the FDNY Foundation and the American Red Cross.

Close the Door: When escaping 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, having an escape plan is important. Property owners must post escape plans on the inside of every apartment door and common area, and distribute them to new tenants, to each unit, and annually.

Clear Exits: By keeping exits unobstructed, first responders can quickly access apartments and residents can easily escape.

Keep Your Kitchen Safe: The area surrounding your stove should be clear of flammable items like paper towels and potholders, and children should be kept away from that area. In addition, stand near your pan and never leave food unattended as it cooks.

Heat Your Home Safely: When using a space heater, leave at least 3 feet of space from combustible materials. For electric space heaters, never use an extension cord.

The campaign also encourages tenants to contact their property owner if any fire safety issues are evident, such as blocked exits or doors that don’t self-close. If problems are not corrected, tenants can register a complaint with 311.

FDNY’s Fire Safety Education Unit and HPD’s Outreach Van are taking the new campaign on the road, educating homeowners and tenants across all five boroughs. The teams will provide a wide range of information at more than 20 outreach events throughout the summer, from filing a housing complaint to precautionary fire safety measures, in order to prevent future building fires. The campaign will also include messaging through various mediums that will reach approximately 35,000 property owners.

A document outlining the campaign’s six fire safety tenets is available on the HPD website in ten languages.

According to acting fire commissioner Laura Kavanaugh, “Educating New Yorkers on ways to prevent fires and keep their families safe is essential to the Department’s mission to save lives.”

Highlighting the city’s commitment to strengthening fire safety measures, HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. stated “We were all struck by the tragedy of the Twin Parks fire. This education campaign is an important step to help ensure that we all have the information we need to prevent another tragedy.”

HPD: “HPD and FDNY Launch Fire Safety Education Campaign” (May 18, 2022).

By: Cassidy Strong (Cassidy is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)



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