Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

November 18, 2015
Contact: Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


Healthy Neighborhood Program provides free smoke alarms to eligible residents

NEW CITY, NY - - The facts are clear: almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes without working smoke alarms. Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to correctly install smoke alarms in their homes and keep them in good working order.

"In a fire, seconds count. Smoke alarms can alert you and your family to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out," said Dr. Ruppert.

The Health Department's Healthy Neighborhood Program can provide and install FREE smoke alarms to eligible residents, including low-income residents, seniors, and at risk families. All that is required is a brief home survey at the time of the visit. "We encourage residents to take advantage of the free smoke alarms, as we find many residents have outdated or no smoke alarms at all in their homes," said Christine Wagner and Shari Stopler of the Healthy Neighborhood Program. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 845-364-3292 or 845-364-3290.

With a few simple steps, residents can greatly reduce their risk of injury or death from fire. The Healthy Neighborhood Program also encourages residents to:
•Replace all smoke alarms, including those that use a 10 year battery and hard wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
•Change batteries in smoke alarms twice a year - when you change your clocks, change your batteries.
•If an alarm "chirps" it means that the battery is low/weak; replace the battery right away.
•Test smoke alarms once a month by using the test button; make sure everyone knows the sound.
•NEVER smoke in bed, and do not walk away from a lit cigarette - better yet, try to quit smoking! Call the Health Department's Put It Out Rockland Quit Smoking Program at 845-364-2651 for one-on-one, or group, help with quitting and low-cost nicotine patches that can double your chances of being successful, or call the New York State Smokers' Quitline at 1-866- NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for help with quitting.
•Never leave food cooking unattended - a serious fire can start in just seconds.
•Have your chimney inspected and cleaned.
•Make sure your furnace and all your appliances are inspected and working properly.
•Make sure your space heater is UL listed, and make sure that the cords are not frayed and the heater is in proper working condition.
•Never drape curtains or clothes over space heaters.
•Develop a home fire escape plan.
•Keep exits clear and free of debris.

For more fire safety information visit the National fire Protection Association website at