A member of the Fire Safety Education Unit within the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) offers fire safety advice to a resident.

NY, Philly Firefighters Hand Out Smoke Alarm Batteries

Many departments around the country reminded homeowners to change their batteries as Daylight Savings Time ended at 2 a.m. Nov. 7. Some are helping residents do just that.

Fire commissioners and departments around the country are reminding their communities to change their smoke alarm batteries as Daylight Savings Time ended at 2 a.m. Nov. 7. Two large departments in the Northeast are helping residents do that.

Members of the Fire Safety Education Unit within the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) handed out 9-volt batteries for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at locations in all five boroughs Nov. 5-7.

Farther south, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, and other officials on Nov. 5 announced an Assistance to Firefighters Grant given to the Institute of Fire Engineers of about $100,000 is allowing the Philadelphia Fire Department to deliver 10-year lithium battery-powered smoke alarms to needy families. The department says it wants to deliver the 7,000 alarms immediately.

"As a result of this grant, during the month of November, all Philadelphia engine and ladder companies will visit blocks in their local fire safety and education districts to install smoke alarms, distribute literature, answer questions, and replace 9-volt batteries upon request," Ayers said. "Our goal is to install the 7,000 newly awarded smoke alarms, as quickly as possible, to begin to protect the lives of our citizens in need." Any resident who can't afford to buy a smoke alarm can call a hotline to request one (215-686-1176).

Twenty-five Philadelphia residents have died in fires this year, 17 of them at properties that didn't have a smoke alarm, had dead or missing batteries, or were improperly installed. "For the fire department, even one resident injured or killed is too many," Ayers said. "This gift will enable us to bolster our efforts to install smoke alarms and remind all Philadelphians of the importance of their proper maintenance, practicing a home escape plan, and the completion of the Home Fire Safety Check List."

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