A working smoke alarm can save your life. That is the important message members of the FDNY are spreading in the wake of a tragic fire in Brooklyn on Sat., March 21 that took the lives of seven children, ranging in ages from 5 to 16. There were no working smoke alarms on the first or second floor of the home where the residents were sleeping.
FDNY Fire Marshals determined the fire was an accidental electrical fire which originated in the area of a hot plate in the on position.
This fire is the worst the city has seen since March of 2007, when a fire on Woodcrest Avenue in the Bronx took the lives of 10 members of one family, including nine children.
“After such a tragic fire, the Department’s mission is to work even harder to promote fire safety education and the critical importance of having a working smoke alarm,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.
Following the fire, the FDNY sent four Fire Safety Response Teams to the neighborhood. The teams are part of the FDNY Foundation funded Fire Safety Education Unit. FDNY Members distributed 200 smoke alarms, 16,000 batteries and fire safety literature throughout the day at four different locations in Brooklyn.
“Our teams are stepping up after this terrible incident to teach community members crucial information,” said Lieutenant Anthony Mancuso, Director of Fire Safety Education. “For instance, an operable smoke alarm can cut your chances of dying in a fire nearly in half. This is information that can help save a life. “
The Fire Safety Response Team is one of the most important aspects of the FDNY. The team moves into action after fatal fires and promotes fire safety within the affected community. They share fire safety statistics, as well as teach people how to both respond to and avoid a similar tragedy.
Along with the timely work of the Fire Safety Response Team, the Fire Safety Education Unit also heads an ongoing smoke alarm program. Mancuso says approximately 9,000 smoke alarms have been distributed every year for the last 10 years.
“The importance of fire safety education is more critical now than ever following the loss of life from this fire,” said FDNY Foundation Chairman Stephen Ruzow. “Our mission to educate the public with life-saving knowledge about fire prevention and the major causes of fires, and to provide smoke detectors and batteries is our top priority. Our goal is to be sure that every home in New York City has working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Anything less is unacceptable.”
“Just days after this tragedy, members of the FDNY Education Unit stepped out to help a community in need,” said FDNY Foundation Executive Director Jean O’Shea. “We are proud of the work that is being done to help give the public the tools and information they need to protect themselves during emergencies.”
For more information on the Fire Safety Education Unit, click here.
To learn more about how smoke alarms can help protect you and your family, click here.
“After such a tragic fire, the Department’s mission is to work even harder to promote fire safety education and the critical importance of having a working smoke alarm."