The Councilmember who represents the Bronx victims of this month’s deadly Twin Parks fire is vowing to overhaul New York’s fire safety laws, while requiring landlords to provide more heat to tenants in freezing weather.

Councilmember Oswald Feliz, a former tenant attorney, was named leader of the Twin Parks Task Force on Fire Prevention, a newly-created special committee announced by the City Council on Thursday.

But as he pledges to remake the city’s approach to fire safety, experts say Feliz may face pushback from New York’s real estate lobby, whose cost concerns could wind up watering down some of the most vital proposals.

“The committee is going to have one purpose: making sure that what we saw two Sundays ago never happens again, in the Bronx or anywhere in our city,” Feliz, who won a special election for the seat last spring, told WNYC/Gothamist. “I’m confident that every affected party will put the interests of our tenants first.”

Officials said the blaze, which claimed the lives of 17 people, was started by a malfunctioning space heater. The historic death toll came as plumes of smoke spread through a pair of doors that failed to close on their own, as required under a 2018 City Council law passed by Feliz’s predecessor, Ritchie Torres.

Under one proposal, Feliz said he would strengthen heating requirements for apartments when the temperature drops below freezing – up from the current minimum threshold of 68 degrees during the day and 62 degrees overnight.

The goal would be to discourage the use of dangerous space heaters, which account for 80% of heat-related fire deaths, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, including several of the most deadly Bronx fires.

Another one of Feliz’s proposals would levy steeper fines on landlords that fail to maintain self-closing doors, while requiring the city to conduct more regular inspections.

“The smoke inundated the building within seconds,” Feliz said. “The self-closing door law is there to prevent exactly that.”

Jim Bullock, a retired deputy chief for the FDNY who now runs the NY Fire Safety Institute, echoed the need for the city to improve oversight of its fire code.

While landlords are required to maintain self-closing doors, there is no city law requiring them to perform inspections on the doors to ensure they work – something that could be changed with one sentence added to the legislative text, according to Bullock.

But other safety reforms may prove harder to implement. Fire prevention experts say sprinkler systems are among the most effective ways to stop the spread of flames. But efforts to mandate those sprinklers in older buildings have long been opposed by the real estate industry.

In 1999, after two fires killed seven people, the City Council abandoned a bill that would require sprinklers in all buildings, opting for a more limited mandate on new construction, following resistance from real estate interests, Bullock said.

When similar legislation was introduced in 2017, following the Grenfell Tower Fire in London, it again faced pushback from property managers and the Real Estate Board of New York, according to testimony presented to the city council.

A spokesperson for REBNY, Sam Spokony, said the group's position on the sprinkler bill had not changed, but added, “It is vital to prioritize residents’ safety and we are committed to working with federal, state and city elected officials on proposals to advance that goal."

Feliz said he was “looking at” introducing a bill that would require sprinklers in all buildings, and planned to meet with FDNY leaders to discuss the idea in the coming weeks.

Asked whether he believed that the most recent tragedy might push lawmakers to overcome the real estate industry’s concerns about sprinklers, Bullock demurred: “They never stood up to them before.”