THE BRONX - Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the Woodycrest Avenue fire that left 10 people dead, including nine children. News 12 The Bronx - spoke with FDNY fire safety educators to learn some basic tips to prevent similar tragedies.
Lt. Anthony Mancuso said that the first thing Bronx residents should do is check to make sure their smoke detectors work properly. Mancuso said that 70 percent of all fatal fires occur in homes that have faulty detectors, as was the case in the Woodycrest Avenue fire. Mancuso recommends having one detector per floor and urges residents to change the detectors' batteries every six months.
According to fire inspectors, the deadly Woodycrest Avenue fire was caused by a space heater's overheated cord. To avoid this, Mancuso said that space heaters should be plugged directly into a wall outlet, not a power strip.
He also said that the type of space heater is important. Some heaters automatically turn off when they fall over. Finally, Mancuso said that residents who use space heaters should warm up their bedrooms before they head off to bed, then turn off the space heater.
In the event of a fire, Mancuso tells residents to just gather up their families, get out of the house and call 911. He also said that no one should hesitate to call any emergency service, even if they're undocumented immigrants.
The FDNY will hold five fire prevention fairs throughout the Bronx Saturday, March 8.
FDNY sounds alarm with $900K safety campaign