Tragic Apartment Fire in the Bronx Underscores Need for Fire Safety in All Residential Occupancies

The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) and our members are devastated to learn of the Bronx apartment fire on January 8, 2022, that killed 19 people including nine children. This tragedy comes on the heels of last week’s row house fire in Philadelphia’s Fairmount section, in which twelve people died, including eight children.

“Our hearts go out to the victims and their families affected by these tragic fires,” comments AFSA President Bob Caputo, CFPS. “While details of both fires are still under investigation, it appears the Bronx fire was started by a malfunctioning space heater in one unit and then spread quickly through the building. These tragedies underscore the fact that we need to protect everyone from the devastating effects of fires in homes, which is where most people feel safest.”

AFSA offers these fire safety tips to help protect yourself and loved ones from home fires:

  • Install smoke detectors in your home and test them regularly ensure they are working. Do not assume that an activated smoke detector is a nuisance alarm and respond accordingly every time.
  • Develop a home fire escape plan with your family and practice it regularly.
  • Know two means of escape from your home in the event of a fire.
  • Consider residential fire sprinklers.

“Research has shown that today’s open-concept floor plans and materials inside of residential occupancies cause residential fires to burn faster and hotter than they did before,” says Caputo. “Research has also shown that public education, working smoke alarms, and automatic fire sprinkler systems all contribute to saving lives. We must all work to reduce injuries and deaths from fire.”

More information on fire safety and automatic fire sprinklers can be found on AFSA’s website, www.firesprinkler.org. Additional information on fire safety and fire sprinklers can be found on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website, www.nfpa.org, and residential sprinkler information can be found on the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) website, www.homefiresprinkler.org


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