Hundreds of volunteer firefighters and EMS providers gathered at the Desmond Hotel on Wednesday. It was the start of the 141st convention of the Fireman's Association of the State of New York. The theme this year is Prevention First. YNN's Megan Cruz tells us about the four statewide initiatives that may spark some controversy.
COLONIE, N.Y. -- Leaders of the Firemans Association of the State of New York are trying to ban novelty lighters. That is just one of the four issues members are discussing at the annual convention.
"Children are using these devices, hurting themselves, setting property on fire, stuff like that," said Oriskany Fire Chief Jeff Burkhart.
More than 700 people are attending this year's conference. The theme is Prevention First.
"The best way to put a fire out is to stop it before it starts. So we have several safety initiatives that we're pushing," explained Robert Leonard, FASNY.
Some of those initiatives include making it mandatory for sprinklers to be installed in newly constructed homes, or ones undergoing major renovations. However, that could cost a homeowner thousands of dollars.
"One percent cost of the average home. So on a $400,000 home, it'd be $4,000 more to have the safety and security of having a little firefighter hanging from your ceiling," said Leonard.
Also under fire are sparklers and small fireworks. A bill to legalize them in New York has passed both the Senate and Assembly. Many firefighters hope the Governor does not sign it.
"They burn at such a hot degree that the sparks as they come off can set clothing on fire," said Burkhart.
Their final initiative is calling attention to the flammable materials used in most furniture. Burkhart said temperatures soar when these light up.
"It's harmful, even with all that protective gear for firefighters to go into these places," noted Burkhart.
Both the lighter and sparklers bill are waiting for the governor to consider them. The State Code Council is meeting to discuss the sprinklers next month. As for the flammable furniture, FASNY plans to push it during the next legislative session.