Get Alarmed, North Side!, a project led byProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, in partnership with the Syracuse Fire Department, kicked off on June 24 to help immigrant and refugee families on Syracuse’s North Side, especially those who may have limited literacy or English-language skills, to learn critical information about fire prevention and home safety.
The first of the home visits for Get Alarmed, North Side! resulted in seven homes on Syracuse’s North Side receiving 40 free smoke alarms, professionally installed by eight firefighters from Syracuse Fire Department Station #2. Burmese and Napelese translators accompanied Kofi Addai, ProLiteracy project manager, and the firefighters to the houses to ensure residents understood the nature of the program.
The residents also received educational materials on how to keep their homes and families safe from fire. “We talked to North Side residents about what to do in case of fire and how to identify fire escape routes in their homes,” says Addai. “We also talked to them about simple things like keeping hallways clear and windows accessible. These tips can help save lives in any community.”
Current safety recommendations call for having one smoke alarm in each room where people sleep as well as an alarm outside the sleeping area and one alarm on each house level. The Get Alarmed, North Side! project aims to communicate critical safety information to the large number of refugees on the North Side who, due to language and cultural barriers, may not be aware of safety standards.
The project also aims to make 250 home visits to promote fire safety and install smoke alarms. More than 1,200 long-life dual sensor smoke alarms were purchased for the project.