Deputy State Fire Marshall Peter Ostroskey recently issued a memo in support of the American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign which is committed to reducing fires deaths and injuries by 25 percent over a five year period. The campaign aims to establish local partnerships that include fire departments, providing in-home fire education, and installing 500,000 smoke alarms each year. The Deputy Fire Marshal hopes the partnership with the Red Cross will increase awareness of the importance of fire safety.
“We are asking everyone to take two simple steps that could help save lives: ensure smoke alarms are working and create an escape plan with your family,” said Luis Matnog, Disaster Program Manager for the Red Cross in Massachusetts. “Red Cross volunteers will be working around the state to install smoke detectors and educating residents about how to practice fire safety.”
The memo noted that the Division of Fire Safety staff has met with the Red Cross of Massachusetts to discuss the types of smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms required by the State Fire and Building Codes. He confirmed the Red Cross is committed to ensuring the alarms installed meet codes. The alarms being installed include photoelectric only smoke alarms (not a 10-year alarm); ionization only smoke alarms; and combination CO/ photoelectric smoke alarms.
Ostroskey noted that Red Cross volunteers will be contacting local fire chiefs about organizing a local coalition to discuss working together to train installers and providing additional volunteers for home safety visits, in home education and resources for smoke and CO alarms. The Red Cross is aware of the Student Awareness of Fire Education programs (S.A.F.E.) and Senior SAFE Programs already active in the state and is dedicated to working to enhance those programs.
In the past, many fire departments have worked with the MA Department of Public Health about fire safety and the Division of Fire Safety is hopeful the campaign with the American Red Cross will continue to educate people about the importance of fire safety. The Red Cross is hoping to engage more volunteers to work in their communities to both install smoke detectors and educate the public.
For more information about the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign please email: HomeFirePrepMA@redcross.org.