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Helping Keep Bronx Residents Safe

Helping Keep Bronx Residents Safe.
"Thank you for coming to my house and helping protect me and my family."

“Thank you for coming to my house and helping protect me and my family,” said longtime Bronx resident Josephine Vardipoul to Red Cross volunteers. “I’m very happy you came.”

The Vardipoul home was one of hundreds in the neighborhood of Highbridge that Red Cross volunteers visited last Saturday to discuss fire safety and install free combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This event was part of the life-saving #GetAlarmedNYC initiative – the largest smoke detector giveaway and installation program in the nation. Support for the day-long event included over 100 Red Cross volunteers, the New York Yankees organization and other dedicated NYC partners.

Vardipoul lives with her husband and small dog down the street from Yankee stadium. This is an area where there have been a high frequency of home fires over the past few years. When Red Cross volunteers entered her apartment, there were two old non-functioning smoke alarms. Volunteers replaced those alarms and added an additional one in a bedroom. The three devices were among the nearly 500 installed throughout the day. Along with the life-saving devices, the Vardipoul family received information about how to make an emergency escape plan as well as education regarding fire hazards, such as keeping her drapes three feet from her space heater.

Also on hand alongside Red Cross volunteers on Saturday was New York City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, who represents several communities in the Bronx, including Highbridge.

“I am truly thankful for this partnership,” said Gibson. “It really affirms our commitment to all New Yorkers on fire safety, fire prevention and on raising the level of awareness. There have been too many fires across our city, too many families impacted.”

To learn more about the Red Cross participation in #GetAlarmedNYC including how to schedule a free smoke/carbon monoxide installation and how to volunteer, visit

For photos from the event, click here.