Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Save Lives

Red Cross of Greater New York Fire Safety

The Bakratsas family from Staten Island

This past November, the Bakratsas family from Staten Island were alerted of a carbon monoxide (CO) emergency with help from the American Red Cross.

A week after a new boiler was installed in their home in November, Alma Bakratsas and her family heard loud beeps emitting from their combination smoke/CO alarms. The family quickly called the fire department who immediately arrived and detected very high CO levels inside the house.

“Our main concern was our little one [granddaughter],” said Bakratsas who lives with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and two young grandchildren. “She’s 22 months, and she was asleep in bed at the time. And we know that carbon monoxide is odorless and it’s very dangerous for little children.”

“If we hadn’t had those alarms go off, I don’t even want to think about what could have happened,” said Bakratsas.

These lifesaving devices were installed for free earlier this year by the Red Cross as part of the organization’s nation-wide Home Fire Campaign.

“This program provided me with safe, secure peace of mind. I’m so glad my family is safe! Thank you!” said Bakratsas about the Red Cross safety campaign.

Since 2014, nearly 120 lives have been saved through this Red Cross initiative, which aims to reduce fire deaths by promoting fire safety and installing smoke detectors.

Learn more about fire and carbon monoxide safety.