The American Red Cross was joined by an impressive group of community partners on Saturday, February 21 to launch its Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in the City of Albany. The campaign, originally introduced in October 2014, aims to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires across the country by as much as 25 percent over the next five years. To this end, the Red Cross and its partners are going door-to-door in local communities, installing free smoke alarms for residents in need and encouraging families everywhere to practice fire safety.
Local officials, volunteer partners, and corporate supporters gathered at the Ancient Order of Hibernians on Saturday morning to formally launch the initiative in Albany.
“The Red Cross is taking the lead to make Albany safer, home by home, smoke alarm by smoke alarm,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “They are putting fire prevention at the top of the list, just where it should be, and the people of Albany, including the Albany Fire Department, thank them for this essential fire safety campaign.”
“I am pleased to join the Red Cross and our partners for this important Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in Albany,” added Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “As a former firefighter, I have seen firsthand the toll a home fire can have on residents. By working together, we can help our neighbors learn more about fire safety and how to protect their families.”
”The Albany Fire Department is proud to be a co-sponsor for this very important endeavor,” said Joseph J. Toomey, Deputy Chief of the Albany Fire Department. “As we all know, a working smoke detector can be the difference between life and death. We also would like to remind everyone that smoke detectors have a 7-10 year life and should be replaced according to manufacturer’s recommendations.”
“This campaign is special to us at the Red Cross because we see people affected by home fires every day,” noted Tim Bachman, Regional Disaster Officer for the Red Cross. “We hope that by helping people prepare now with smoke alarms and escape plans, we might be able to prevent some of the most devastating losses fire can cause. We’re grateful to all the partners gathered here today to help us do this.”
“MVP Health Care is pleased to support the American Red Cross and its Home Fire Preparedness Campaign,” said MVP President and CEO Denise Gonick. “At MVP, we’re strong believers in the value of programs that help prevent avoidable tragedy. Doing all we can to prevent fires in the home is in keeping with our commitment to improving the health and well-being of the families and communities we serve.”
“The Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness campaign is needed and very important to Tri City Rentals,” said Anthony Paganucci, Sales and Marketing for Tri City Rentals. “As a leader in the multi-family housing industry, we see the devastation that home fires can cause and want to make every effort we can to give every home owner and apartment dweller the tools needed to keep their homes and families safe. We thank the Red Cross for their involvement with this program.”
Following the formal kick-off, teams of volunteers from the American Red Cross, the Refugee Community Health Partnership Program, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians “Boots on the Ground” Unit embarked for a day of canvassing throughout the city of Albany. In total, they visited 36 homes, installed 84 new smoke alarms, and taught around 200 people what they can do to be prepared if a fire should break out in their home.
The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign incorporates not only neighborhood-wide events like Saturday’s launch in Albany, but also individual home visits scheduled on a case-by-case basis. Residents across the greater Capital Region are encouraged to contact the Red Cross at (518) 694-5117 to request a visit from a team of volunteers who will check existing smoke alarms, install new smoke alarms for residents in need, and review fire safety and escape plans with all household members.
All home visits, smoke alarms, batteries and other materials made available through the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign are provided to residents free of charge, thanks to the generosity of the public. Your donation can support the work of Red Cross volunteers and partners as they continue to canvass communities with fire safety resources. A donation of $30 could allow the Red Cross to install two smoke detectors for families who need them. To make a donation and help #GiveWhatFireTakes, visit rdcrss.org/firetakes.
In the Eastern New York Region, the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is generously supported by County Waste and Recycling, KeyBank, MVP Health Care, State Farm, Tri City Rentals, and Turner Construction Company.
Photos from the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in the City of Albany can be viewed on Flickr.
More about the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign:
Seven times a day, someone in the United States dies in a fire. The Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign focuses on building partnerships with local fire departments and community groups across the country to ensure that smoke alarms are installed in communities with high numbers of fires and to encourage families everywhere to practice their fire escape plans. Since the start of the campaign in October 2014, the Red Cross has visited more than 20,000 homes and installed more than 34,000 smoke alarms nationwide. Already, seven lives have been saved by smoke alarms installed through the Home Fire Campaign. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/homefires.