New York's Fire Department Launches Largest Safety Campaign Ever

New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, Chairman of the FDNY Foundation Stephen Ruzow, and U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano, a Democrat who represents a Bronx district, unveiled on Feb. 11 the largest fire safety public awareness campaign in the history of the New York Fire Department. The "Sound the Alarm" campaign is funded by a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and will educate the public on the importance of properly maintaining smoke alarms.

The department hopes the program will reduce fires in the city's five boroughs, as well as civilian fire fatalities and injuries. The campaign is expected to last more than six months. It includes TV, radio, print, and Internet advertisements and public service announcements. "We want to focus on the need for every home to have a working smoke detector," Scoppetta said. "For $10, a smoke detector will literally save your life."

The campaign was unveiled at Engine 68/Ladder 49 in the Bronx, a company that responded to a March 7, 2007, fire that killed nine children and one adult. "We need to spread the message that smoke alarms save lives," said Ruzow, "and it is everyone's job to check the expiration dates on their alarms and make sure they have a working battery."

"We now ask the community to 'Sound the Alarm' in their neighborhoods and make sure everyone has a working smoke detector," said Serrano, who helped the department's firefighters to distribute more than 145,000 9-volt batteries to residents of the five boroughs after the March 2007 fire.

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