FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES FIRE SAFETY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, March 11, 2007
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Today is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time - and I hope you all remembered to move your clocks one hour forward. The day is also a good reminder to change the batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors - perhaps the best defense we have against a fatal accident in the home.
"Last week, we were reminded of just how important smoke detectors are, when a fire ripped through a home in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, claiming the lives of nine New Yorkers, including eight young children. Several more family members were very badly injured in this terrible tragedy, one of the most deadly fires in recent memory. I know our prayers are with their families, who must be experiencing unimaginable pain and grief.
"Since the first hours after the fire, our Administration has been on the ground, offering whatever possible support we can. Key City agencies have been working with the Red Cross to provide food, clothing, housing, transportation, and medical services to all the victims - and we will continue to do that for as long as it's needed.
"We are also working hard to do everything we can to prevent more tragedies like this from happening. The most heartbreaking part of this story is that the blaze - like so many other fires in our city - could have been prevented. So to try to make something positive come out of this awful loss, we want to urge all New Yorkers to take some simple steps that dramatically reduce the risk of fire.
"First, when the weather is as cold as it has been lately, it's important to be careful about how we keep our homes warm. If you use a space heater, make sure it is UL-approved and operating away from your furniture, bedding, curtains, or other flammable materials. And never, ever use an oven or other kitchen appliance to heat your home.
"Candles are also particularly dangerous. If you use them, make sure they are placed in secure holders and on level, stable surfaces - and never on floors where they can easily be knocked over. Keep them away from flammable materials, and don't leave them unattended.
"The most important safety tips are those we stress every day of the year - no matter what the weather: The number one cause of fatal fires is careless smoking. So always extinguish cigarettes and cigars completely, and never smoke in bed. And again, make sure you have a working smoke detector on every level of your home - and a working carbon monoxide detector near all sleeping areas.
"Finally, if a fire does occur, get out of the house as quickly as possible - and you can help contain it and possibly save lives by closing the doors behind you. Then, use the nearest phone to call 911. Every family should develop and discuss a fire escape plan - and practice it. That's especially important if you have children. It only takes a few minutes, but it could save lives.
"Additional safety tips are available on the Fire Department's website, which can be found at www.nyc.gov - or at any one of our firehouses throughout the five boroughs. If things do go wrong, you can count on New York's Bravest, the greatest firefighters in the world, but remember: fire prevention begins with all of us in the home.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening, and please stay safe."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address