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We Need Common-Sense Fire Safety Measures

A few weekends ago, I was honored to take part in the Kerry Rose Foundation’s first ever 5K-trail run at Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve in Commack. The foundation was created to honor the memory of Kerry Rose Fitzsimons, a Marist College student and Commack High School graduate, who was tragically killed in 2012 in an off-campus house fire in Poughkeepsie. The event brought together community members and first responders to raise awareness of and promote fire safety.

 

Each year, 2,855 people lose their lives and an additional 16,500 are injured by fires.  The cost of a fire sprinkler system is between $1,700 and $21,000. But the cost of failing to making this investment is potentially far greater.

 

That’s why I stood with Kerry’s family in March 2012 at the Commack Fire Department to call for the passage of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, which would provide a tax incentive for retrofitting properties with sprinkler systems. This is common-sense legislation that could help save lives. We just need Congress to bring it to a vote. 

 

 I am thankful that the New York State Legislature passed and the Governor signed Assemblyman Michael Den Dekker’s legislation, the Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act, which requires public and private colleges in New York to provide a written fire safety notification to each student living in a college-owned or operated housing facility, both on- and off-campus. 

 

While I’m thrilled that New York has taken action, I recognize that our work is not done. That is why I will be introducing the Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and will work to pass Kerry’s law at the federal level so all of our nation’s students can have the safety information they will be getting in New York.