First responders will now have another line of defense when it comes to fighting fires.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that requires property owners to notify their local governments whenever a newly constructed or rehabilitated residential structure is comprised of a truss type, pre-engineered wood or timber construction.
While this construction method is safe for normal use, it can also become fragile and collapse with little or no warning when exposed to fire. The required notification process will allow local governments to provide fire departments and first responder organizations with information about buildings that employ this particular construction design.
"First responders put their lives on the line to protect those around them. It is our responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that they come home safely, and this law is a crucial way to live up to that charge," Cuomo said. "This legislation will help ensure that our firefighters and emergency personal are made aware of potentially dangerous situations before it's too late."
Truss type, pre-engineered wood or timber construction is often undetectable without advanced notice, and there have been multiple occasions in recent years where first responders were injured or killed while responding to fires in buildings that utilize this particular construction method and ultimately collapsed.
"Simply put, this new law will help protect the lives of firefighters, fire officers, and the public," said Robert McConville, president of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York. "Determining the type of building construction in quick fashion dictates how we operate at a fire, so any advantage we are provided is welcomed. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the public safety impact of this law."
The law takes effect on Jan. 1
Tonawanda News, North Tonawanda, N.Y.