While 2016 was the Big Apple’s safest year in terms of fire fatalities, 2017 experienced a 35% spike, increasing from 48 fire deaths to 73 in the year just concluded. The 2016 low corresponded with a decades-long trend than can be largely attributed to an increase in fire sprinkler system installations, as New York City regulations have consistently expanded requirements for sprinklers.
2016 was the Big Apple’s safest year in terms of fire fatalities, according to the FDNY. The world’s busiest fire department reported 48 fire-related deaths, the lowest number since the city began recordkeeping in 1916. It represents a 19% decline over the 2015 numbers, and a 17% drop from the previous record low of 58 fire-related deaths in 2012. The FDNY also reported a 9% reduction in “serious fires.”
A recent fire at a State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase College student housing building has spotlighted the importance of requiring all college dormitories to have automatic fire sprinklers, according to leaders of the New York Fire Sprinkler Council, a division of the Mechanical Contractors Association of New York
The Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) and Steamfitters Local 638 members, who install the fire suppression systems that have helped make New York City the safest big city in America, laud the near-record low in fire fatalities last year. In 2015, the FDNY responded to a record 1.7 million calls, yet reported just 59 fire fatalities—the second lowest number since the city began record keeping a century ago