This petition calls on the New York City Council and mayor Bill de Blasio to introduce & sign a bill requiring ALL residential high-rise buildings in New York City to install a public address system in emergency stairwells so that FDNY and building management can communicate life-saving information in an emergency situation.
On January 5th, a three-alarm high-rise fire in midtown Manhattan tragically claimed the life of 27-year-old Daniel McClung and critically injured his 32-year-old husband, Michael Todd Cohen. The newlyweds attempted to escape their building using an emergency stairwell when they were overcome by heavy smoke from a massive fire in an apartment on a lower floor.
Far too many victims have found themselves trapped in stairwells trying to get out alive. In December 1998, four people died in a residential high-rise stairwell on the Upper West Side after a fire ignited in the apartment of Macaulay Culkin’s family. That tragic incident led the New York City Council to pass a law requiring all new residential high-rises to have sprinklers.
Former FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, who led the fire department from 1996-2001, supports this petition saying “If older buildings are able to add wiring for the internet and cable TV, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to require a public address speaker system in the stairwells that might save lives.”
Residential buildings in New York City aren't held to the same fire safety standards as commercial buildings. This simple and cost-effective solution can save lives by giving first responders the means to communicate when to stay or go!