Health & Wellness

Red Cross and Irvington to Honor MLK Day of Service Teaching Fire Safety and Installing Free Smoke Alarms

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IRVINGTON, NJ – As part of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss, the Irvington Municipal Council and Office of Public Safety Fire Division have partnered with the Red Cross to help reduce the number of home fire-related injuries and fatalities in Irvington.

“We are happy to join forces again with the American Red Cross and provide free smoke alarm installations for our residents,” said John F. Brown, public safety deputy director, Irvington Township. “This important program consists of four equally critical components; fire safety Information, proper smoke alarm installation, proper smoke alarm maintenance, and practicing a home fire escape plan twice a year. We appreciate and are thankful for the countless lives saved as a result of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign!”

In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 15, members of the Irvington Office of Public Safety Fire Division and volunteers with the Red Cross and other community partners will be going door-to-door in areas of Irvington’s West and North Wards installing free smoke alarms in homes that need them.

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“Smoke alarms can cut the risk of death from a home fire in half,” said Ana Montero, CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “We are proud to honor the legacy of Dr. King by joining together with Mayor Vauss and Irvington Township to help save lives.”

As part of the campaign, Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss, the Irvington Municipal Council and Office of Public Safety Fire Division have partnered with the Red Cross. The partners, along with volunteers from community groups and organizations, will participate in this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service event to honor the life of Dr. King. Firefighters and volunteers will be going door-to-door, installing free smoke alarms and providing fire safety information as they visit approximately 2,000 homes within Irvington’s West and North Wards.

9:00 a.m. volunteers and firefighters gather at Irvington Fire Headquarters One Civic Square Irvington, NJ 07111 for training and team assignments

9:45 a.m. – Welcome rally at Irvington Fire Headquarters

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Teams out in Irvington neighborhoods canvassing approximately 1,700 homes.                       

CONTACT:       Diane Concannon

                        609-206-4043 (cell)

                        Diane.Concannon@redcross.org

During the January 15 event, teams of volunteers, who will be identifiable by their uniforms and badges, will also be distributing fire safety information and talking to families about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home.

Simple Steps Everyone Can Take to Save Lives

The Red Cross is urging everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.

There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

• If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.

• If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.

• Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.

• Practice that plan. What’s the household’s escape time?

Since the launch of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign in October 2014, the Red Cross New Jersey Region and partners have installed more than 25,000 free smoke alarms and have helped thousands of New Jersey families learn how to create a family fire escape plan. 

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters each year in the United States and the vast majority of those are home fires. Throughout New Jersey, the Red Cross responded to more than 820 home fires last year, offering comfort to nearly 1,900 families and providing emergency assistance to help meet immediate needs such as shelter, food and clothing, as well as referrals and health services as needed.

For free fire safety tools and resources, visit redcross.org/SoundTheAlarmNJ.

About the American Red Cross in New Jersey
The American Red Cross provides programs and services to a population of 8.8 million in New Jersey. The Red Cross trains and mobilizes more than 5,000 volunteers who support the delivery of services throughout the state. In New Jersey last year, the Red Cross responded to more than 820 local disasters, mostly home fires, helping nearly 1,900 displaced families; collected more than 90,500 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; provided more than 4,180 military family case services with emergency messages, helping families find assistance and/or get counseling and referrals; and trained more than 113,200 individuals with life-saving skills in preparedness, CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics. For more information, please visit redcross.org/NJ and follow us on Twitter @NJRedCross.org.

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