State Senator Joseph Addabbo teamed up with the Red Cross to install a smoke detector in a Middle Village home as New York faces a greater threat of fires during the colder winter season.
Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign has worked to educate families about fire safety, helping create escape plans and installing free smoke alarms. The greater New York Red Cross invited Addabbo to help raise awareness as the temperatures drop.
“Fire safety is particularly important during colder months as Red Cross sees a spoke in home fires when temperatures drop,” the Red Cross said in a statement. “Locally in Greater New York Red Cross volunteers and partners have installed more than 168,000 smoke alarms and helped make more than 61,000 households safer.”
Addabbo said that as it gets colder and especially with Christmas trees in homes, it’s important to bring awareness to families.
“When you have a great program like this — with free installation of fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors — I just want to bring awareness to the program,” Addabbo said. “It’s to raise awareness not only of the dangers of fire and fire prevention but also about this program.”
According to the Red Cross, home fires are responsible for more fatalities in the U.S. in a typical year than all other natural disasters combined, killing an average of seven people every day. Most deaths occur in homes lacking a functional smoke alarm; many are unprepared when it comes to fire safety.
“Having a working smoke alarm doubles one’s chances of surviving a home fire,” said the Red Cross statement. “Every day across greater New York, the American Red Cross responds to five to 25 disasters, providing emergency lodging, food, water, blankets, financial assistance, emotional support, health assistance and more.”
The American Red Cross has installed more than 2.1 million free smoke alarms and educated over 2.3 million people on fire safety since the Sound the Alarm campaign started in 2014. According to the Red Cross, this means over 1,000 lives have been saved.
Anyone who needs a free smoke alarm installation can schedule one on the Red Cross website at redcross.org.