EAST ORANGE, NJ - On Father’s Day 2014, The Shauger Group, Inc. (TSG) was particularly affected by a news report of a Newark family who perished in a house fire. The fire spread rapidly while the six members of the extended family slept. Without a single smoke detector to warn them of the present danger, the family members were rendered helpless to get out of their terrible predicament.
With TSG’s headquarters just one town over from where the horrible tragedy took place, Donald and Lisa Shauger felt deeply for the powerless family. Hearing that the family did not have a single smoke detector to protect them, the Shaugers felt it was their duty to offer many families something that they do not have.
With the hope that others in the future may be saved by a smoke detector, something we quite possibly take for granted in our day-to-day lives, TSG partnered with New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford and purchased 750 brand new smoke detectors from Home Depot to donate to the City of Newark.
Tuesday evening, in honor of Fire Prevention Month, Donald Shauger, Weatherford, and TSG employees presented the smoke detectors to Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and members of the Newark Police and Fire Departments.
"For us to be able to help these families and prevent something like this from happening in the future, it's an honor for me to be a part of it," said Weatherford.
"If we can save even one life, it would be amazing," said Donald Shauger, Executive Vice President of TSG.
As part of Tuesday’s events, a ceremony was held at 5:30 p.m. at the Engine 10, Ladder 5 Fire House located at 360 Clinton Avenue in Newark. The ceremony included a presentation of the smoke detectors, as well as honored a Newark emergency dispatcher for her heroism and dedicated work. Following the ceremony, TSG and Weatherford joined the Mayor, fire department, and police department on a neighborhood walk, handing out smoke detectors to the residents of Newark.
"There are measures that need to be taken to take care of these families that can't take care of themselves," Weatherford stated in a speech at yesterday's ceremony. "I'd like to thank Don Shauger and the Mayor and the police department for allowing me to be up here and to help these families because there's a definite need there."
The smoke alarms are Code One i9040 battery-operated smoke alarms with test buttons, 85-decibel horns, flashing red power lights, and low battery indicators. Appropriate for either commercial or residential use, they comply with the following authorities: Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and California State Fire Marshal (CSFM).
Having been both born and raised in Essex County, the Shaugers have given much to the Newark community over the years. For several years, the Shaugers have been a constant presence at Apostles’ House, a shelter for homeless and at-risk families in Newark. They have spent the last several Christmas mornings at the Apostles’ House to donate gifts to the families living there. Through TSG, the Shaugers have also built and/or refurbished the majority of the building, as well as have built a playground for the children residing there. As recently as this past winter, TSG renovated and refurbished the first floor family room and living space. The Shaugers’ dedication to the Apostles’ House is just one of many examples of their devotion to the Newark community and its residents."Every little bit you do matters," said Lisa Shauger, President/CEO of TSG.
"Unfortunately, there are always situations out of anyone's control. But there are also preventative circumstances and steps that can be taken to ensure safety. If we as a company can do something to improve the lives of others, then why wouldn't we do it?"
Through their smoke detector donation, Weatherford and TSG hope that families will be better protected and that the 750 smoke detectors can be instrumental in preventing future tragedies.