Tragic fire should be a wake-up call
Apr 25, 2017 | 6017 views | 0 0 comments | 444 444 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tragedy struck in southeast Queens this week, when a fast-moving fire tore through a Queens Village home killing five, including four children.

According to some reports, there were no fire alarms in the home at the time of the incident. It's not clear if that would have resulted in any lives saved, but it certainly would not have made things worse.

We all know how important fire safety is, but it's often something people take for granted. According to the American Red Cross, having a working fire alarm doubles your chance of survival in a house fire.

There are often financial barriers to ensuring your family is safe. A new combination fire and carbon monoxide detector costs around $50 on average, so if you want to install them throughout your home, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars.

Fortunately, there are some free options if you know where to look.

Through the American Red Cross and the FDNY's Get Alarmed campaign, residents can have an expert come and install a free combination fire and carbon monoxide alarm in their homes, by calling 311 or (877) RED CROSS. The initiative was launched in the wake of the deadly fire in Midwood that killed seven kids in March 2015.

It's so important that residents are aware of initiatives like the Get Alarmed campaign, because it's a great way to reduce that barrier to fire safety. The campaign is also full of useful information like how often to test the alarms, or how to come up with a home fire escape plan with your family.

Members of the City Council often host one or two free smoke alarm giveaways, so contact the office of your local councilperson to see if they are holding any events in your neighborhood soon.

It's shameful to think any resident wouldn't be taking advantage of these amazing free resources, although maybe the onus is also on the city and the Red Cross to further publicize the initiative. Either way, “Get Alarmed” this week.
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