NEW YORK—The year 2012 was the year with the fewest fire-related deaths in the history of New York City, as well as the fastest average ambulance response time, despite the fact that Hurricane Sandy alone caused 94 fires. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano spoke of the fire department’s two new breakthroughs Wednesday at a promotion ceremony for FDNY members.
There were 58 fire related deaths in 2012, 66 in 2011, and 62 in 2010—the previous record low.
“My first year on the job in 1970, there were 310 fire-related deaths, this year there were 58,” Cassano said. “While the demand for the Fire Department’s services has increased in the last year … we have continued to improve on our core missions of responding quickly to medical emergencies and reducing fire related deaths.”
-Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once a month
-Never use an extension cord with a space heater. It should be plugged directly into an outlet
-Space heaters should be three feet away from anything that can burn and should be turned off when leaving a room or going to sleep
-Never use a kitchen oven or gas range to heat your home.
-Use electric blankets only if they have the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) mark and are less than 10 years old. Ninety-nine percent of electric blanket fires come from blankets that 10 years or older.
SOURCE: Fire Department of New York
The past decade has proven to be a good one for FDNY, 2012 was the seventh consecutive year where there have been fewer than 100 fire-related deaths.
From 2002–2012, an average of 85 fire-related deaths occurred each year, in comparison to the average of 140 fire-related deaths throughout the 1990’s.
The FDNY investigates the causes of every fire-related death and injury to how similar situations could be prevented in the future.
There has also been an improvement in the fire department’s equipment, as well as an increase in initiatives to inform people about fire safety.
Forty-six out of the 58 fatal fires in 2012 were a result of a broken or a lack of smoke detector.
“With record low numbers of murders and shootings and the fewest fire deaths in our city’s history, 2012 was a historic year for public safety,” Bloomberg said.
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