MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. The house fire in Carmel that killed Larchmont Police Capt. Thomas Sullivan and three members of his family left the Westchester community devastated and raised the issue of fire safety throughout the county, including the village of Mount Kisco.
At the Village Board of Trustees meeting Monday night, Mayor Michael Cindrich proposed the village make moves to ensure that every one of the villages homes new, old or renovated has the necessary fire alert systems, especially working smoke detectors.
Cindrich, a former Mamaroneck police lieutenant who worked with Sullivan for more than 20 years, said several houses in the village have smoke detectors that are hardwired into their electrical systems. If a fire causes the house to lose power and in the absence of a backup generator the family inside loses the protection of the smoke detectors if there is no battery backup, he said.
Its not a deficiency in the [villages fire] code, he said. Its something that we should be aware of, though.
In addition to backing up smoke detectors with generators or installing sprinkler systems in their homes, people can also protect themselves by installing extra smoke detectors, said Cindrich.
Thats one of the least expensive things anyone can do, added Village Trustee Anthony Markus.
Another issue Cindrich mentioned was the villages three-story homes, some recently renovated, that do not have emergency entrances or exits. Even if they already have smoke detectors, he said, houses with two or more families should have sprinklers as backup.
Cindrich said he has spoken to building inspectors in other communities whose fire code considers a basement bedroom to be the first floor of a house, and he said Mount Kisco might want to consider adopting these parameters.
We have three-level occupancies in this community because of added basement bedrooms that, in my opinion, are dangerous, so I dont want it on my watch. I dont want it on anyone's watch, he said.
Cindrich added that tightening ordinances should begin right away, with additional smoke detector, fire escape and sprinkler regulations.
Both existing structures and newer structures would need to adhere to any new rules, he said.
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