BUFFALO, N.Y. — Anthony Conti, 7, died after a fire engulfed his Lovejoy home Monday.
His death is raising awareness about emergency preparedness, fire safety and programs in the area.
“We will come into your home if you need them. We will check any smoke alarms that you have, replace batteries, install up to three free smoke alarms,” said Jay Bonafede, American Red Cross of WNY.
Smoke alarms should be at least on every floor of the home, if not in every room.
“Having working smoke alarms in a home does cut the risk of dying in a house fire in half, so they’re a really important and really simple thing you can do,” said Bonafede.
The Red Cross not only does free installations, but they will help families develop an emergency action plan.
“We give them a little white board that actually has their home on it, so they can put it on their fridge, so that the kids know that the important thing is to escape,” said Alexis Willard, Red Cross disaster program specialist.
Every room should have two escape routes. Fire escape ladders can help with windows on higher floors.
“You want them for every window that you don’t really have an access to get out safely so you’re not breaking your legs,” said Willard.
And developing the plan is just the first step. Experts say it is equally important to practice that plan, so you know how to put it into action.
“And then you can actually practice this by actually going out of your fire escape ladder and seeing how long it actually takes you to get out of the building,” said Willard.
Some general fire safety tips include keeping space heaters and candles three feet away from anything flammable, plug small appliances directly into the wall without using extension cords, and never smoke in bed.
Source: Buffalo, NY Spectrum News: “Red Cross provides fire safety tips after deadly Lovejoy blaze” by Katie Gibas | January 31, 2018 @9:01 PM