Despite all of mankind’s tremendous technological progress throughout history, fire continues to be a major threat. That’s true in both rural and urban areas, and in residential and commercial buildings. New York City has seen its fair share of major fires over the years, which is why officials have developed policies and strategies to better protect people and property against that threat. Whether you’re a NYC-approved Fire and Life Safety Director, thinking about becoming one, or simply a business owner trying to avoid fire damage, it’s important to understand that fire prevention is a critical part of the effort to protect and save lives.
In a city as large as New York City, there are few more pressing needs than the protection of life and property. To provide that protection, the city maintains a robust police presence, fire department, and other emergency response services. Unfortunately, however, those committed guardians of life and property are unable to be everywhere at once. Private sector personnel thus play an invaluable role in protecting the City that Never Sleeps. That’s why New York City relies on dedicated Fire and Life Safety Directors to help protect buildings and their occupants from fire and various other threats.
These days, there are two words that all safety and security personnel truly dread: active shooter. While these terror attacks are far less common than their news coverage might suggest, they remain among the most terrifying domestic threats Americans can experience. And since the shooters almost always target areas where resistance is unlikely, most active shooter responses are anything but organized. Add to that the fact that a reported 60 percent of 2018’s active shooter events took place in business environments, and it’s easy to see how big this threat has become in recent years.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a Fire and Life Safety Director in New York City, chances are that your interest is at least in part motivated by a strong desire to protect human life and property. Fire and life safety professionals are a vital component of the city’s safety strategy, helping to support the efforts of the fire department and other emergency responders and public safety personnel. At the same time, however, your role as a fire and life safety leader will come with a host of other responsibilities too. In short, the job involves much more than just protecting people from fire.
Since 1973, New York City law has required many of the city’s building to keep a Fire and Life Safety Director on staff to coordinate and implement any fire safety response and help minimize loss of life. These fire safety directors continue to fulfill a vital role in the Fire Department’s broader strategy to protect the people of New York City from fire. In recent decades, that role has expanded to include other types of emergencies as well.