Residents learn about fire safety for Bronx Preparedness Weekend

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THE BRONX -

Residents across the borough learned proper safety and prevention skills during Bronx Preparedness Weekend.

The American Red Cross underscored the importance of fire safety at Saint Helena's church on Olmstead Avenue Sunday.

Dozens of churchgoers stayed after Mass for a fire safety presentation. The FDNY teamed up with the Office of Emergency Management and American Red Cross to teach preventive measures like having a home fire safety checklist, never smoking in bed, keeping kids away from stoves and the importance of having working smoke alarms.

The FDNY is also warning people to keep an eye on what they fry, to keep objects 3 feet from the heater, and to plug appliances directly into wall outlets.

Organizers say these are a few vital lessons after 13 were killed when an unattended child started a massive Belmont fire by playing with a stove back in December.

The Red Cross urged people to sign up for the "Sound the Alarm" campaign that kicks off April 28. Teams of volunteers will visit homes to install free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

"It really only takes one event to change a family's life or have a life lost," said Elizabeth Angeles, an emergency specialist at the OEM.

The smoke and carbon monoxide detectors the Red Cross will be handing out have a 10-year battery life.

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