ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Experts say there are around 164 fire related deaths every year in the state of New York. That’s why some are fighting for legislation that could make it easier for us to purchase fire safety products. Whether it’s fire extinguishers or smoke detectors, these safety products come with a price tag. Sponsor of the bill, Assembly member Monica Wallace feels it’s in the best interest of all New Yorkers to implement tax exemptions for safety products. At least for the month of October, “Ideally I’d like to see it all year round,” said Wallace.
But she says with October being fire prevention awareness month, it’s a good start, “To both raise awareness of the need for those products and raise awareness of fire safety, to remind people to go out and replace any alarms that may need to be replaced, replace your batteries, and your smoke alarms, your carbon monoxide detectors and just sort of remind people that fires kill so many individuals.“
But will making these products tax exempt trigger more people to buy them? John D’Alessandro, Association Secretary at FASNY says, it’s a step in the right direction, especially during these tough financial times, “And you know it’s easy to say ‘Well what’s the likelihood of me having a fire in my house? It’s probably never gonna happen.’ So we’re hoping that if we at least make them tax exempt, it will be a little bit of an incentive for people to at least buy one or two if they don’t have any.”
D’Alessandro said in the event of a fire you can’t minimize the precious seconds a carbon monoxide or fire detector gives you, “Especially at night, when you’re sleeping, you have to realize a fire can start in the house and it can be going for quite a while before you would notice it, if you notice it at all.” He said ideally you should have at least one functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home and an exit plan.