Nearly a year after a residential fire killed nine children and an adult, the New York Fire Department on Monday announced what it said is the largest fire safety campaign in the city's history, according to the Associated Press. The initiative focuses on the importance of smoke detectors.
"There is no question about it, smoke alarms save lives," fire department Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said. "These devices can provide an extra few minutes that can mean the difference between life and death, but only if they are working."
The “Sound the Alarm” campaign will feature television, radio, print and Internet public service announcements and was funded by a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The campaign is intended to drive home the message that people need to install smoke detectors in their homes and maintain them properly.
There were 95 fire deaths in the city in 2007, including the ten immigrants from the west African nation of Mali who perished in a Bronx house in March.
That number was up from 85 in 2006, but the trend is down slightly over the last few years, according to AP. The last six years have seen an average of 98 fire deaths annually, Fire Department of New York officials said.