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Area Mayors Team Up With Red Cross To Announce Safety Event

RED CROSS/Facebook

Following a spate of fires in the area, the mayors of Albany, Schenectady and Troy are joining a nationwide effort to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires. 

Several suspicious fires are under investigation in Troy. There have been devastating fires in both Albany and Schenectady.  Mayors Patrick Madden, Kathy Sheehan, and Gary McCarthy joined Red Cross representatives today to announce the "Sound the Alarm" campaign, a plan to install 1,000 free smoke alarms across the three cities in a single day. Troy Mayor Patrick Madden says every home should have a smoke detector.    "I don't think there's probably a more cost-effective or generally more effective way at all of preventing death or serious injury as a result of a fire than a simple, inexpensive smoke detector, yet it's amazing how many structures we have without smoke detectors installed."

Sujata Chaudhry is a board chair with the Red Cross of Northeastern New York.  "Sound the Alarm is going to be on October 14th. Our goal is 1,000 smoke alarms."

According to the Red Cross, seven people die in home fires every day in the United States. Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy pointed out that folks who have had smoke alarms in their homes for a decade or more may need to upgrade.   "They're getting to the point where they've exceeded their useful life expectancy. So that we want part of the messaging for this campaign to be prevention, to make sure that people are affording the opportunity to update and make sure that smoke alarms are in place."

The initiative is part of the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York's home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event. From September 23rd through October 15th, the Red Cross will Sound the Alarm in more than 100 cities and towns nationwide to help save lives from home fires. Working with community partners across the country, the Red Cross plans to install 10,000 free smoke alarms during this period. If the goal is reached, the Home Fire Campaign will have installed one million alarms since its launch in 2014.

To learn more and get involved now, visit soundthealarm.org/eny. From this site, people can sign up to volunteer, start a Sound the Alarm fundraiser, make a financial donation, learn more about home fire safety, and request free smoke alarms from the Red Cross.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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