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Free smoke alarms available to Onondaga County residents

Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney announced last week that free smoke alarms are now available to qualifying county residents. The initiative is being funded by a Fire Prevention and Safety grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"Delivering and installing smoke alarms will add to the health and safety of our community," said Mahoney. "Onondaga County is very pleased to be one of only 12 counties in New York State selected for this grant".

Joe Rinefierd, Director of the Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management Fire Bureau, said that having properly working smoke alarms in your home reduces the chances of fire-related deaths significantly.

"Approximately 70 percent of residential fire deaths are caused due to homes not having smoke alarms or due to smoke alarms not working properly," Rinefierd said. Through this program, firefighters from various fire departments will provide education, smoke alarms and installation free of charge to those that qualify.

"Residential fires disproportionately affect our most vulnerable citizens, including children aged 14 and under and adults aged 65 and older. Fire prevention is still the best medicine," said Chief Patrick Brennan of the North Syracuse Fire Department. The Smoke Alarm Installation Program is for Onondaga County residents who live with children; are 65 years old and above; are at a low income level (call for details); or are hearing impaired (special detectors are available).

The program will provide the opportunity for local fire departments to work together with the county health department and other community organizations to address critical fire prevention and safety issues.

To learn more about this program in the village of North Syracuse or to schedule a home visit on March 13, contact the Village Clerk at 458-0900. For more information about the program in other areas, call 435-2525.

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