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Fatal fire spurs safety warnings

Following the tragic death of Renee Chong and her children in a house fire in Rosedale, City Councilmember Leroy Comrie is making fire safety a priority. The Councilmember is urging people to review their family fire safety plans.
Comrie joined New York City Fire Safety Education Unit at Jamaica Center Parsons/Archer train station to hand out free batteries for smoke detectors on Tuesday, October 30. Comrie used the opportunity to tell those in attendance to review their fire safety plan with their families.
After expressing his condolences over the loss, he spoke to residents about fire safety.
“In the aftermath of the [Renee Chong house fire] tragedy, I want to remind everyone that they should use this time to review personal fire safety plans with their families, particularly in households with young children. As we approach the winter days and holiday season, many of us will seeks to keep our homes warm with electric heaters and decorate our Christmas trees with electric lights. It is why we should take greater safety precautions and discuss emergency procedures with our loved ones,” he said.
Comrie issued several tips courtesy of the U.S. Fire Administration’s Fire Safety Campaign:

  • Install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home and all sleeping areas.
  • Keep a working smoke alarm in your child’s room and use a baby monitor to hear the alarm if it sounds.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month and change the batteries at least once a year.
  • Keep exits clear of toys and debris.
  • Pick a designated meeting spot and make sure your children know not to enter the house.
  • Practice the fire escape plan at least twice a year, including strategies for exiting when one parent is not home.
  • Keep a baby harness near the crib, which will allow you to keep your hands free to escape while carrying the baby.
  • Keep your children’s door closed so that in the case of a fire, the smoke will not overpower them.
  • Hide matches from children.
  • Instruct older children to crawl low under smoke and to feel the doors to see if they are hot before opening them.
  • Teach your children to recognize the sound of the smoke alarm and to leave the building and go to the family meeting spot if it goes off.
  • Draw a basic drawing of your home showing all doors and windows including two routes of exit from each room.
  • Teach your toddlers to tell you if they find matches or lighters.
    For more information, log on to www.usfaparents.gov.

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