Cuomo Signs Fire-Prevention Bill Named After Marist Student

4:06 PM, Jul 25, 2013   |    comments
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By Jon Campbell  Albany Bureau

ALBANY Colleges will now have to notify students whether or not a sprinkler system is present when they move into school-owned housing, according to a new law signed Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The "Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act" requires all colleges to provide written notice to students of their housing unit's fire-safety procedures, along with any fire sprinkler or lack thereof. The law is named after Kerry Rose Fitzsimons, a Marist College student who was killed along with two others in a January 2012 fire at her off-campus house in the town of Poughkeepsie.

"It was a tragedy for our entire state when Marist student Kerry Rose Fitzsimons and two other young people lost their lives in a fire last year," Cuomo said in a statement. "This new law will improve fire safety awareness for our college students so we can prevent tragic incidents like this from happening again."

The new law applies to all public and private colleges and any housing they own or operate. It took effect immediately upon Cuomo signing it.

Colleges will also be required to provide written instructions to students on where to find the campus' fire-safety report on student housing. Prior to the bill being signed into law, colleges were federally required to produce a report, but weren't required to notify students where they could find it.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Greece, Monroe County, and Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, D-Queens.

"This bill gives parents and students proper information so they can make the safest and most informative decision when choosing college housing," Robach said in a statement.

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