Fire Department installs free smoke detectors for Philadelphia residents

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Fire is everyone's fight every day of the year," said Philadelphia firefighter Gustav Baumann. "And one of the best ways to save ourselves in the event of a fire is to have a smoke alarm installed in the house."

Baumann, a 26-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department and Battalion Chief with its Fire Prevention Division, was among many first responders and volunteers knocking on doors in Elmwood Park today. Together with the American Red Cross' Sound the Alarm Initiative, they hope to educate 100,000 households about basic fire safety.

"You have two minutes to get out of your household when there's a fire," said Guy Triano, Regional CEO of Southeastern Pennsylvania American Red Cross."So, having an evacuation plan, having a meeting point with the families is extremely important, and making sure you have smoke alarms."

Triano and his volunteer group joined forces with Baumann and his firefighter colleagues to install smoke detectors in neighborhood houses today. Residents found it to be a blessing.

"I'm seeing so many houses getting burnt in this community, so I am so excited bringing a fire alarm in my house," said Aaron Zoe of Elmwood Park. "I thank you so much. God bless you."

Firefighters determined that the smoke detector previously installed in Zoe's basement was defunct. At no cost, they installed a new alarm.

"Honestly, no I just assume they always worked," said Mohammed Conde when asked if he ever thought about his fire alarms. "You don't really know until, like, the last minute."

Philadelphia residents may call 3-1-1 to receive a free smoke alarm installation. You can also submit a request to Philly 311 online or visit the American Red Cross website for more fire prevention information.

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