The Threat of Fire in Urban Areas

Most of us who live and work in Brooklyn or the other boroughs of New York City love our city life: being able to walk to restaurants down any street, direct access to theater, museums, and cultures, shopping right outside our doorsteps.  We know firsthand all the plusses of living and working in the city. However, in an urban lifestyle, there are unique challenges and threats that we face as well. Today, we will specifically talk about the fire risks related to working and living in such close quarters and see what protective measures we can take.

When we say 'urban,' by definition, we mean any geographical area that has 250,000 people or more living there. Well, when you realize that Brooklyn has a population of 2.5 million and all of NYC combined (all 5 boroughs) has a population of 19.5 million, well, we more than qualify to call ourselves 'urban.' (Not that anyone thought otherwise.)

When so many people are living life in such a small space, there are inherent challenges that come with it in terms of fire safety. Among those are a large elderly population, those with disabilities, an increase in those in poverty as well as a large immigrant population.

Because of this, our fire departments face incredible challenges when it comes to preventing fires as well as putting them out. Our own local FDNY has to manage city bureaucracy, communication challenges in multi-cultural neighborhoods, increased crime rates, a lack of sufficient resources and inadequate fire safety habits among those who live in these communities.

When we look at statistics involving fires in urban areas, we see that arson occurs more frequently. As for accidental fires, electrical equipment often plays a role, especially in older areas of the city that haven't been updated yet.

To address some of these special threats and risk factors of fires in urban areas, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers some suggestions, including a local task force to address these problems and implement some practical principles. The NFPA has identified these principles as the 5Es as they are described below:

  1. Education regarding fire safety and prevention
  2. Enforcement of legislation and fines for non-compliance
  3. Engineering of new technologies and products
  4. Effective emergency response and training
  5. Economic incentives including fines, tax credits, and free installations

Implementing the 5 Es can go a long way in advancing fire safety in a community and adding more protection and prevention. Each E has a domino effect and can make a huge impact for good in urban areas.

If you own a business, you can do more than you probably think to protect your community. First, be sure your own employees and staff have been educated in the best fire safety procedures and habits. You can also be sure that your own property is up to date with local fire codes, including flameproofing. Flameproofing can save lives, as treated decorations, materials and objects become non-combustible and do not contribute to the spread and severity of a fire. This also creates life-saving evacuation time for those inside.

At Brooklyn Flameproofing, we know how crucial it is to defend our city from fire. When we all cooperate and do our part, even a huge city like ours, with inherent difficulties of fire prevention, can be safe. If you have flameproofing needs or questions regarding fire safety, we can help. Our knowledgeable and professional staff will address your concerns and also offer a free, no-obligation estimate. Call us today. We’d love to hear from you: 800-401-5415.

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