New York City

NYC to give away 100,000 smoke detectors

Brooklyn Has More Fires than Any Other Borough

November 4, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
At a press conference in Flatbush on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would give away and install 100,000 smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Mayor.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio and a host of city officials announced on Monday that the city would give away and install 100,000 smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.

The new fire safety program, #GetAlarmedNYC — the largest smoke detector giveaway in the nation, the city said – will target neighborhoods that pose the greatest risks from fire, including many in Brooklyn, which has more fires than any other borough.

The city says the $4 million initiative was spurred by the tragic deaths of seven children, all from the same family, in a fire last March in Council Member Chaim Deutsch’s Midwood district. That fire, on Bedford Avenue, was said to be caused by a hot plate that the family had left turned on overnight to keep food warm during the Jewish Shabbos, when cooking is not allowed.

While the city has dramatically reduced the number of fire deaths, people – especially the very young and old – continue to die in fires, de Blasio said at the press conference, held at Engine 255 and Ladder 157 in Flatbush.

“A message today to all New Yorkers is, come and get your free smoke alarms. If you don’t have one there’s one available for you,” de Blasio said.

“Either you can install it yourself or the Red Cross working with the FDNY will install it for you. Anyone who needs a free smoke alarm can call 3-1-1; it’s as simple as that,” he added.

“The message cannot be simpler: smoke alarms save lives,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Noting Brooklyn’s high number of fires, Councilmember Jumaane D. Williams (Flatbush, East Flatbush, parts of Midwood) said in a statement, “There have been several tragic incidents within the past few months that could have been avoided if their homes were properly equipped with smoke detectors, so I am proud that this administration is partnering with the FDNY to launch a vast fire safety program, which will undoubtedly save countless lives.”

“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: fire safety education must be a priority,” Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement.

De Blasio said the initiative was a partnership between the Mayor’s Office, the FDNY, the City Council and non-profits American Red Cross and FDNY Foundation, along with businesses. Funding is provided by the City Council and the non-profit FDNY Foundation. Fire safety product manufacturer Kidde will contribute roughly half of the smoke alarms.

The initiative will span two years, with hundreds of alarms installed each week by volunteers from the American Red Cross. 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, the city said.

Also attending the press conference were City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, Fire and Criminal Justice Chair Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and NY Red Cross CEO Josh Lockwood.

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