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FDNY Foundation, Kidde team up for smoke alarm distribution event at Fort Totten

May. 17, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

The FDNY Foundation and Kidde held a distribution event Thursday at the EMS Academy in Fort Totten to celebrate their donation of smoke detectors to eight fire departmentsy. Fire departments from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut each benefitted from these donations.


Photo by Ethan Marshall

Each of the fire departments receiving the smoke detectors serve communities with high populations of elderly, low-income and high-risk individuals. As part of Kidde’s Cause for Alarm campaign, a total of 4,500 smoke alarms were donated. This donation is meant towards Kidde reaching its goal of ensuring all Americans have equal access to fire safety devices.


Photo by Randy Barron

“I would like to give a special thanks to Kidde and the FDNY Foundation for donating these alarms to us at the FDNY and to our neighboring departments,” said FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit Captain Michael Kozo. “The goal of saving lives is why every firefighter, EMT and paramedic signed up for the job. No matter where we work, we do it to make a difference and to save lives.”


Photo by Randy Barron

According to Captain Kozo, there have been a total of 48 fire fatalities in New York City in 2023. He mentioned that some of these fires took place in homes or buildings where there weren’t any smoke alarms present or no working smoke alarms.

“We’ve responded to too many fatal fires and seen families torn apart because of the tragedy,” FDNY First Deputy Fire Commissioner Joseph Pfeifer said. “But we know that fire safety education is important to prevent residential fire deaths. If we can get that information out to people, we can make a difference.”

Pfeifer emphasized the importance of these donations, as a working smoke detector may be the difference between life and death for many people. Pfeifer encouraged New York residents who are unable to afford a smoke detector to let the fire department know. The department would then notify the Red Cross before installing a smoke detector in the home for free. He also encouraged the public to go to in order to learn more about smoke detectors, fire education and saving lives.

According to Kidde representative Roderick Brown, the fire safety company is working to provide access to education, product solutions and resources to all communities in the country so that they are protected within their own homes. He encouraged the public to visit in order to learn more about how they can be better prepared and protected when it comes to fires. Downloadable fire safety information and brochures are available there.


Kidde representative Roderick Brown (photo by Randy Barron)

“We want to help to protect every moment for everyone,” Brown said. “Last year, Kidde launched its Cause for Alarm campaign, which is meant to shine light on fire safety and equity in America and help keep those vulnerable communities safe. As part of our efforts, we’ve donated over $1 million worth of smoke detectors and alarms to the FDNY Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. What we’re seeing here today is a fipple effect of Cause for Alarm. The FDNY Foundation has kindly agreed to share a portion of their allotted distributed donations with the area fire departments desperately in need of resources. Together we are all #SharingSafety.”

According to, approximately 70% of fire deaths take place in homes where there aren’t working smoke alarms. Having a working smoke detector increases the chances for safely escaping a house fire by 55%.

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