Senator Robach's Legislation to Enhance Fire Prevention & Safety for College Students Signed Into Law

Joseph E. Robach

July 26, 2013

Robach’s Legislation to Enhance Fire Prevention and Safety for 
College Students Signed Into Law by Governor Cuomo 

The New York State Senate passed legislation during the 2013 Legislative Session to enhance fire prevention and safety for college-owned housing. This legislation was sponsored by Senator Joseph Robach and signed in to law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 25, 2013.

While colleges were previously required to publish fire safety standards as part of a federally required annual report, they were not required to notify students or parents about these standards as part of the housing selection process. The new law will now require private and public colleges in New York State to provide written fire safety notification to all students who live in college-owned housing, on and off campus. The notification required would include a description of the housing facility’s fire safety system, and whether or not the facility is equipped with a fire sprinkler system.

“This bill gives parents and students proper information so they can make the safest and most informative decision when choosing college housing,” said Senator Robach. “I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law and hope it will help ease the minds of parents across New York State.”

This law is known as the Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act. Kerry Rose Fitzsimons was a Marist College student who tragically died, along with two others, in a January 2012 fire in her off-campus housing unit. The “Kerry Rose Foundation” was started by her friends and family to better educate college students about fire prevention and safety.

“It’s unfortunate that it took the death of three college student for us to realize that this legislation needed to be enacted. By signing this bill into law, we can prevent more casualties of this nature from happening,” Robach concluded.