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PR- 071-07
March 9, 2007


Mayor and Commissioner Scoppetta remind New Yorkers to change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today announced that the Fire Department will be distributing more than 150,000 free batteries for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the City starting in the next few days.  The 9-volt batteries are being donated by the FDNY Foundation, a non-profit group that supports many FDNY initiatives and fire safety-related programs.  The Mayor and Fire Commissioner made the announcement at Engine 68 / Ladder 49 in the Bronx.

"In the wake of Wednesday night's tragedy, the message couldn't be clearer - change and test the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "Everyone's heart goes out to these two families and we are all deeply affected by this tragic loss of life.  I hope everyone will take the simple steps that can prevent future tragedies like this from occurring, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the best protections we have.  I want to thank the FDNY Foundation for their generous donation of these batteries and I want to thank the firefighters who put their lives on the line everyday like those here at Engine Company 68/ Ladder Company 49."
"This week's tragedy reminds us of the brutal and heart-wrenching consequences of fire and we remain committed to doing everything we can to prevent tragedies like this from occurring ever again," said Commissioner Scoppetta.  "Our Fire Safety Education Unit is committed to raising awareness and saving lives."

Distribution of the batteries will take place in all five boroughs.  The Department will be reaching out to community organizations, churches and civic groups to assist in the distribution. Fire safety tips will also be handed out by the FDNY's Fire Safety Education Unit.  The FDNY Foundation distributed 20,000 thousand batteries at various transit hubs around the city on Monday.  In total, 170,000 free batteries will be dispensed to the public in conjunction with daylight savings time.

The FDNY recommends the following safety tips:

  • Install a smoke detector outside of each bedroom or sleeping area in your home and on every level of your home.

  • Keep your smoke detectors properly maintained. Test them once a week to ensure that the detectors are working properly.

  • Every Spring and Fall when you change your clocks, remember to change your smoke alarm batteries. Use only the type of batteries recommended on the detector.

  • Develop an escape plan and review the plan with all members of the family frequently. Be aware that children and elderly people may need special assistance should a fire occur. Establish a meeting place outside the house for all members of the family to ensure that everyone gets out safely. When fire occurs, get out of the house and use a neighbor's telephone to notify the Fire Department.

  • Space heaters need space. Portable space heaters need a three-foot (one meter) clearance from anything that can burn and should always be turned off when leaving the room or going to sleep.

  • Never overload electrical outlets. Never run electrical extension cords under rugs. Replace old or damaged cords.


Stu Loeser/John Gallagher   (212) 788 2958

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