Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, FDNY Foundation Chairman Stephen Ruzow and NY Red Cross CEO Josh Lockwood announced the launch of a new fire safety program – #GetAlarmedNYC – on Mon., Nov. 2 at Engine 255/Ladder 157 in Brooklyn.
#GetAlarmedNYC is the largest smoke alarm giveaway and installation program in the country. The fire and life safety initiative will provide free installation of 100,000 Kidde combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms to tens of thousands of city residents, targeting communities that are the greatest risk of fire according to statistics and analysis done by the FDNY.
“While the city has dramatically reduced the number of fire deaths we see annually, the fact is people – especially the very young and old alike – continue to die in fires and we’re launching this program because we know it will save lives,” said Mayor de Blasio. “This is an extraordinary partnership between the Mayor’s Office, the FDNY, the entire City Council and our non-profit friends at the American Red Cross and FDNY Foundation along with our friends in business who are also devoted to making a difference in protecting our citizens.”
The #GetAlarmedNYC initiative was spurred by the tragic deaths of seven children last March — all from the same family — in a fire in Midwood, Brooklyn.
“The unspeakable tragedy last March where seven young children died in a fire in Brooklyn was a wake- up call for everyone in our city: you must have a working smoke alarm in your home to protect your family,” said Speaker Viverito. “My colleagues in the Council have been working hard to get this message out and will continue through this initiative to help protect the people in every community in our city. I commend the Mayor and Commissioner Nigro and all the partners in this vitally important initiative, which we fully support and are proud to be partners.”
“The message cannot be simpler: Smoke Alarms Save Lives,” said Fire Commissioner Nigro. “While fire deaths are at historic lows, the FDNY is committed – more than ever – to do everything we can to protect New Yorkers, and that begins by making certain our residents have the first line of protection against fire and deadly carbon monoxide gas.”
Funding for this program is being provided by the City Council and the FDNY Foundation. Kidde, the fire safety product manufacturer, will contribute alarms. Additionally, the American Red Cross will provide organizational support and volunteers. The volunteers will work with fire safety educators from the Foundation, install alarms in private homes and apartments and provide fire prevention education information. The smoke/carbon monoxide alarms that will be installed are sealed devices that do not require new batteries and are designed to last for up to 10 years.
“Our mission is to fund the critical, life-saving work of the FDNY with our support of fire and life safety education programs being paramount,” said FDNY Foundation Chairman Stephen Ruzow. “This major new program reinforces our commitment to help to save lives and assist those in our City who face the greatest risk from fires.”
“The American Red Cross has always been there when tragedy strikes – working alongside our first responders to assist those in need of shelter and basic needs following a fire or other disaster,” said Josh Lockwood, CEO of the ARC’s New York Region. “We’re thrilled to partner with the city and the FDNY in this new and important prevention initiative, which will save lives and property and make our city safer.”
“Kidde is dedicated to providing solutions to help protect people and property from fire and its related hazards,” said Jim Ward, President of Kidde. “We have a long history of partnering with the FDNY through programs like ABC7’s Operation Safe a Life and of supporting the FDNY Foundation. Kidde is proud to be donating alarms as a part of this life-saving initiative.”
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that nationally, the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half when there is a working smoke alarm. In New York City, the FDNY’s Bureau of Fire Investigations has determined that up to 70 percent of fire deaths in recent years have occurred in residences where there was no working smoke alarm.
New York City residents will be able to get more information about the program by calling 311. In addition, the FDNY and American Red Cross will host community events where city residents can schedule installations in their homes. For a list of events where you can sign up to participate in this program, please click here.
"While the city has dramatically reduced the number of fire deaths we see annually, the fact is people – especially the very young and old alike – continue to die in fires and we’re launching this program because we know it will save lives. This is an extraordinary partnership between the Mayor’s Office, the FDNY, the entire City Council and our non-profit friends at the American Red Cross and FDNY Foundation along with our friends in business who are also devoted to making a difference in protecting our citizens."