Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro is urging all New Yorkers to check, and if needed, change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when changing their clocks for the end of Daylight Saving Time on November 01, 2020. New Yorkers without a smoke alarm are urged to get a 10-year sealed battery combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm for every level of their home and for any area where someone sleeps.
This week, FDNY is holding 30 events in all five boroughs, distributing smoke alarm batteries and fire safety education literature. Locations and times for FDNY Fire Safety Education events can be found by visiting here.
“The most critical tool for surviving a fire is a working smoke alarm,” said Commissioner Nigro. “A working smoke alarm alerts you and your family about a dangerous fire growing in your home and provides the crucial warning needed to escape. I urge every New Yorker to check their smoke alarms this week, and if you do not have one, install one immediately where you sleep and on every level of your home.”
To date in 2020, 50 New Yorkers have died in fires. In 64% of those fires, there was no working smoke alarm.
There were 66 civilian fire deaths in 2019 – a 25% reduction from the year before – and that marked the fourteenth consecutive year there have been fewer than 100 fire-related deaths; an unprecedented period in New York City history.
Due to COVID-19, many FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit (FSEU) events were cancelled this year to comply with safety and social distancing guidelines. FSEU coordinated or participated in more than 1,500 public events this year. In 2019, FDNY Fire Safety Education unit (FSEU) teams coordinated or participated in more than 7,500 events, reaching more than 580,000 New Yorkers.
Despite the pandemic, FDNY has stayed connected with New Yorkers through its fire and life safety information website here. FSEU developed a digital curriculum for school-aged and adult populations that highlights all aspects of residential fire safety, including virtual fire safety presentations, PSAs, podcasts, videos featuring firehouse and EMS station tours, and additional activities for children.
After every fatal fire, FSEU responds to that neighborhood to provide fire safety education to residents and information on smoke alarm installation. As part of a continued partnership with the American Red Cross and the FDNY Foundation, the FSEU has distributed or installed more than 200,000 smoke alarms in homes across the city since 2015.