FIRE SAFETY MATTERS FOR MT. VERNON – Thomas & Richardson Hold Press Conf. For Fire Prevention Week

Richard Thomas and the Mount Vernon Fire Union Reminds Mount Vernon residents:
Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!

 Mt. Vernon, NY (October 5, 2015) – In front of the burned ruins of house that was engulfed in a massive fire at 349 Union Avenue (near corner of Fifth Street), Mt. Vernon Mayoral Nominee Richard Thomas and Ernie Richardson, president of the Mount Vernon Firefighters Local 107 (which endorsed Richard Thomas for Mayor of Mount Vernon) held a press conference to promote Fire Prevention Week and to highlight the fires that have plagued the City of Mt. Vernon, Tuesday afternoon.

“Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” That’s the message behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign. Thomas and Richardson remind residents that location matters when it comes to your smoke alarm.

“Since January 2015, there have been 39 structure fires, 40 kitchen fires, nine (9) car fires, and four (4) fires that were prevented due to the handwork of the Mt. Vernon Firefighters,” Thomas shared during press conference. “Also, since January 2015, Mt. Vernon has utilized mutual aid 25 times, while being called out approximately four times to other communities.”

The locations of the press conference location was significant because the September 16th fire took place in front of Robert Williams Elementary School, which prompted the evacuation of hundreds of young children in the middle of the school day.

“In a fire, seconds count,” said Thomas. “Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out.

Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, the Mount Vernon Firefighter Union is joining forces with Richard Thomas and the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, to remind local residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
  • Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place. Call the fire department from outside the home.

“We should be especially cautious at this time of year,” Thomas said. “It’s fire season. The number of house fires increases as the weather starts to cool and residents start using space heaters to keep warm. We’d like to see  Mount Vernon residents stay safe and prevent any fire related accidents and deaths this season.

Richard Thomas recently participated in the “Fire Ops 101” training sponsored the International Association of Firefighters on Friday, October 2nd. He will take questions about that experience as well as budget issues facing the Mt. Vernon Fire Department. Other elected officials who participated in Fire Ops 101 included New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and Councilman Jared Rice, White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach and State Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Mount Kisco).