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News Review
Free Smoke Alarm Saves Sunrise Family
Posted Date: 2/2/2017 1:45 PM
Sunrise Fire-Rescue is a proud partner in the American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign – launched in 2014 with the goal of reducing the number of fire-related deaths and injuries in the U.S. by 25% by the year 2020.

Smoke alarms are purchased through the generosity of the American Red Cross' corporate office and individual donors. Then, the Red Cross partners with local agencies, like Sunrise Fire-Rescue, to identify underserved neighborhoods and conduct door-to-door installations.

On Monday, January 16, 2017 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – a team of 53 volunteers from the Red Cross Broward chapter and Sunrise Fire-Rescue conducted their fourth neighborhood canvass to date. They convened at 7:30 a.m. and worked until 6:00 p.m. to install 339 smoke alarms, bringing the total number of free alarms installed in Sunrise to 963. In addition to installing alarms and changing batteries where needed, they shared a wide range of preparedness information with residents.

Nationwide, the Home Fire Campaign has resulted in the installation of nearly 620,000 smoke alarms, and been credited with saving 131 lives. Sunrise can now add five more names to that remarkable list.

Sunrise homeowners Anthony and Lucille Dick received a free, volunteer-installed smoke alarm on January 16 – and on January 24, Sunrise Fire-Rescue responded to a structure fire at their residence. The Dick family, including their daughter-in-law and their grandchildren, age 2 and 5, were home at the time, and were alerted to the fire by the new alarm. They all escaped the home safely, and the fire was quickly extinguished. Damage was contained to the converted garage/bedroom where the fire began.

“Smoke alarms play a critical role in protecting people and homes in the event of a fire,” said Sunrise Fire-Rescue Chief Thomas DiBernardo. “By participating in the Red Cross alarm installation campaign, we were able to help save a Sunrise family. There’s no stronger endorsement for this program – or for the importance of smoke alarms. We are committed to getting as many households covered as we can.” In fact, the American Red Cross Broward Chapter and Sunrise Fire-Rescue have a goal of installing more than 500 additional smoke alarms in Sunrise by mid-2017.

“We are committed to continuing to install life-saving smoke alarms and proud to partner with Sunrise Fire-Rescue,” said Paula Prendergast, Broward chapter executive director. “It’s wonderful to provide working smoke alarms for those in need and discuss a fire safety plan. It’s hard to believe that, on average, a homeowner has only two minutes to safely escape from a house fire.”

Sunrise’s next round of door-to-door smoke alarm installations is scheduled for April 29, 2017. For more information about Sunrise Fire-Rescue’s ongoing community risk reduction efforts, please contact Danielle DiGiacomo at (954) 746-3465 or ddigiacomo@sunrisefl.gov.

For details about the Red Cross Broward chapter – or to become a volunteer – please call (954) 797-3800 or visit www.redcross.org.