In the wake of December’s deadly Bronx fire, new legislative package would require safety devices on stove in apartments with small children and educational plan on fire safety

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Council Member Ritchie Torres and City Council Member Chaim Deutsch are introducing a package of new legislation designed to prevent catastrophic fires in the wake of December’s tragic fire in the Belmont section of The Bronx, which saw 13 lives lost.

Borough President Diaz, Council Member Torres and Council Member Deutsch today introduced three bills that would improve fire safety and education, and potentially save lives:

  1. One intro would require owners of buildings with three or more units to provide and properly install approved stove safety devices on all stoves in units where a child or children 10 years or younger reside;
  2. One intro would require the Fire Department, in coordination with the Education Department, to implement a comprehensive plan for educating children and parents about fire safety and prevention;
  3. One intro would require landlords to post a notice indicating that those escaping a fire should close all doors behind them.

In December, a fire in a residential building on Prospect Avenue in The Bronx led to 13 deaths, making it the deadliest fire New York City had seen in the past 25 years. Investigators found that the fire was started by a three-year-old child playing with the stove in his apartment, and quickly grew out of control.

“Just as we require window guards in apartments with young children, we should also require that stoves be made safer through the installation of approved safety devices,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This tragic fire could have been prevented, had this young child been unable to tamper with the knob of the stove in his apartment. I am proud to partner with Council Member Torres to introduce a new legislative package that will undoubtedly save lives.”

“This comprehensive legislative package on fire safety, prevention and education will save lives and prevent household fires from happening. By installing safety knobs and proactively educating residents about fires, we are aiming to prevent another catastrophe. I thank Borough President Diaz Jr., for his partnership on these bills and advocacy on fire prevention, and look forward to their passage and enactment into law,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

“Our City has suffered several unfortunate and tragic fires during recent months. With fire fatalities up 53% in 2017, this is an important time for us to raise awareness and make meaningful change. I’m grateful to my colleagues, Councilman Ritchie Torres and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. for their partnership on this very critical initiative for all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch.