The New York State Association of Fire Equipment Cos. fights to retain fire safety regulations that have been recently removed by the Codes Council.
The New York State Association of Fire Equipment Companies (NYSAFECo), the leading voice to maintain fire suppression systems at all New York State gasoline fueling stations, has announced the launch of an educational campaign to ensure that a critical fire safety measure remains in place despite the state’s intention to drop it.
The New York State Association of Fire Equipment Companies (NYSAFECo) said the online campaign would seek to educate all New Yorkers about the fact that a little known state bureaucracy has recommended the elimination of the requirement that all gas stations must have a fire suppression system in place above their gas pumps.
Fillipo Conte, president of NYSAFECo, said the Codes Council—a state entity housed within the New York Department of State — opted on Aug. 19, 2015 to do away with the state regulation, in place since 1984, that every gas station in New York be equipped with a fire suppression system in the event that pumps catch fire—as part of an overhaul of the State’s new fire code.
“With little or no real debate, this body took an action that places each and every motorist in a compromised public safety position when fueling their vehicles, especially since we have recently seen an increase in fires at the pump,” Conte said.
He noted that the most recent blaze occurred on Jan. 1, 2016 in the early morning hours on Long Island, N.Y., at a Wyandanch, N.Y. filling station. Local first responders and the owner of the station credited the fire suppression system with mitigating what would have been a fully involved fire, by knocking the flames down until the fire service arrived.
“Having a fire suppression system deployed at a fueling station is akin to having a fireman on site 24/7. Once a fire is detected, the systems are deployed to control the blaze, giving the driver and their occupants an opportunity to evacuate the site. And with the advent of video cameras, more and more of these fire incidents are being recorded, showcasing the effectiveness of these systems.
“And in the face of this visual evidence, it is even more unbelievable that the Code Council would turn its back on the public safety of New Yorkers. That’s why we are taking our case directly to New Yorkers. We believe that once they are aware of the State’s intention, they will be equally outraged and call for this requirement to be retained”
Conte noted that the campaign would also target State lawmakers, to ensure they were aware that this life saving safety measure would be eliminated without their input.
“Many lawmakers are unaware that the Codes Council has unilaterally decided to remove this important measure without their consent. Proposing to eliminate this provision makes no more sense than taking seat belts and airbags out of our vehicles. We wouldn’t dream of doing that, yet the state thinks it’s okay to have New Yorkers fuel their vehicles without this important public safety measure in place.”