Following Saturday’s tragic Brooklyn house fire and Thursday’s massive explosion and fire in the East Village, just over a year after 2014’s deadly Harlem blast, many New Yorkers are understandably concerned about fire safety in their city. Are fires, including five-alarm fires, becoming more frequent in the Big Apple?

The FDNY has compiled an exhaustive list of statistics at the city and borough levels going back to 1993 detailing New York fire incidents. The FDNY also made available vital statistics for much of the last decade, listing the average response times, the number of civilians saved or rescued and other key numbers.

I propose creating a chart — likely either a line or bar chart — to show the general trend in fire incidents in NYC and separate out more severe infernos from minor blazes to provide a sense of perspective regarding the frequency of five-alarm fires versus more frequent, lesser fires.

Additional sources: Jim Long, FDNY Press Office,, 718-999-2056