In New York City, commercial and residential buildings are governed by New York City Fire Code. However, commercial buildings have stricter and more comprehensive fire safety regulations and standards than residential buildings. Why is that? FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration statistics show that residential buildings have experienced more fires, more fire deaths, greater dollar loss, and more fire injuries than non-residential buildings.
In 2015, there were 380,900 residential building fires versus 104,600 in non-residential buildings. Things weren’t much better in 2014 when there were 3.67x more fires in residential buildings than in non-residential buildings, with 30.8% of the fires versus only 8.4%.
“Residential” was the leading property type for fire deaths, fire injuries, and fire dollar loss with 75% of the fire deaths, 78% of the fire injuries, and 52.1% of the fire dollar loss.
National estimates for the leading causes of fires in non-residential buildings for 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, are:
- Cooking: 30,900 fires
- Other unintentional, careless: 10,900 fire
- Intentional: 9,800 fires
National estimates for the leading causes of fires in residential buildings for 2015 are:
- Cooking: 193,400 fires
- Heating: 41,200 fires
- Electrical malfunction: 24,500 fires
- Other unintentional, careless: 24,500 fires
Even when comparing the instances of the top three causes of non-residential fires against residential instances, it is clear to see that residential buildings are at a much higher risk of fire than non-residential buildings.
With the greater risk that is involved and the higher degree of susceptibility to fires, residential buildings should have stricter, not more relaxed regulations than commercial buildings. There are more people, more children, more pets, more memories, and more lives that will be ruined if action isn’t taken to better protect New York City residential tenants. The City can start by requiring that all residential buildings:
- Conduct annual fire drills and stairwell familiarization
- Require fire prevention training for tenants and all personnel
- Mandate annual systems checks, including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in every residential unit
For more information on how you can prevent fires, protect tenants, and safeguard your residential property, contact us at: http://flssusa.com/contact-us