The American Red Cross, Eastern New York Region, is joining area fire departments and community partners to install free smoke alarms and educate families on fire prevention and safety. 
“Home fires remain the most frequent disaster during COVID-19, yet most of us don’t realize we have just two minutes to safely escape,” said Kevin Coffey, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Eastern New York. “As families spend more time at home during the pandemic, it’s critical that we help our vulnerable neighbors protect themselves from these everyday disasters.”
On Saturday May 8, Red Cross volunteers will Sound the Alarm as part of a national effort to educate 100,000 people about home fire safety in high-risk neighborhoods this spring. Local volunteers will meet with residents outside their homes to share fire safety information and help them create an escape plan to practice their two-minute fire drill. Firefighters from area departments will install free smoke alarms in homes.
In Central and Northern New York, the Red Cross is partnering with volunteer fire departments in the Onondaga County communities of Fayetteville and Manlius. To schedule an appointment, Fayetteville residents can contact Fayetteville Fire & EMS at or 315-637-6101. In Manlius, residents can contact Manlius Fire and EMS: or 315-682-8318. Availability of installations on May 8 is limited. The fire departments will perform installations as soon as time allows once the scheduling for this date is filled.
The Northeastern New York Chapter is partnering with Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, the Clifton Park Fire Department, and Clifton Park-Halfmoon Fire District No. 1 for a smoke alarm and education initiative at D & R Village. Appointments are not needed.
Local volunteers are also meeting virtually with families to review fire safety for their household. The Eastern New York Region has launched Phone a Friend, Save a Life. Volunteers and staff members are being trained to reach out to friends and family virtually to complete Homes Made Safer education through a guided conversation.
The Eastern New York Region spans 27 counties, serving 3.6 million people.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE Help protect your family against home fires by taking two simple steps: Practice your two-minute escape drill and test your smoke alarms monthly. Visit for more information and to pledge to prepare your family against home fires.
·         Create an escape plan with at least two ways to exit every room in your home. Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.
·         Practice your escape plan until everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes.
·         Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Change the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.
·         Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.