In light of the recent tragic fire in Brooklyn, the Rockland County Department of Health’s Healthy Neighborhood Program encourages residents to correctly install smoke alarms in their homes and
keep them in good working order. Smoke alarms can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Healthy Neighborhood Program is a free program dedicated to improving the quality of life of Rockland County families by reducing exposure to health and safety risks at home. Healthy Neighborhood Program staff can provide and install FREE smoke alarms to eligible residents, including low-income residents, seniors, and at risk families. All that is required is a brief home survey at the time of the visit.
“Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms. Having a working smoke alarm greatly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire,” said Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, Rockland County Commissioner of Health.
With a few simple steps, residents can greatly reduce their risk of injury or death from fire. The Healthy Neighborhood Program encourages residents to:
* Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years of age
* Change batteries in smoke alarms twice a year – when you change your clocks, change your batteries
* Have smoke alarms on every level of your home
* NEVER smoke in bed, and do not walk away from a lit cigarette – better yet, stop smoking! Call the Health Department’s Put It Out Rockland Quit Smoking Program for help at (845) 364-2651
* Never leave food cooking unattended – a serious fire can start in just seconds
* Have your chimney inspected and cleaned
* Make sure your furnace and all your appliances are inspected and working properly
* Make sure your space heater is UL listed, and make sure that the cords are not frayed and the heater is in proper working condition
* Never drape curtains or clothes over space heaters
* Develop a home fire escape plan
* Keep exits clear and free of debris
“We encourage residents to take advantage of the free smoke alarms, as we find many residents have outdated smoke alarms or no smoke alarms at all in their homes,” said Christine Wagner and Shari Stopler of the Healthy Neighborhood Program. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (845) 364-3292 or (845) 364-3290.
(YWN Monsey Newsroom)