Alexandria Smoke Alarm Safety Installation Support Taskforce (ASSIST)
The Alexandria Smoke Alarm Safety Installation Support Taskforce (ASSIST) is a program designed by the Alexandria Fire Department, Friendship Firehouse, and the American Red Cross to proactively install smoke alarms throughout the City of Alexandria. ASSIST operates every third Saturday of the month by installing smoke alarms in the homes of Alexandrians in an effort to make the City safer against fire.
"Far too often, fire deaths in the U.S. occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms,” said Fire Chief Robert Dubé. “The Alexandria Fire Department’s ASSIST program is committed to educating residents on fire prevention and making sure they have operating smoke alarms in their homes in case of a fire.”
The ASSIST team works with Volunteer Alexandria to get more volunteers involved in the program and to help install smoke alarms in the homes of the residents of Alexandria. During installations, volunteers and members of the fire department also educate residents on fire prevention and encourage them to make an emergency plan with their family.
“One of the important goals of Volunteer Alexandria’s Emergency Preparedness Program is to educate and train the community in ways they can prepare themselves for any disaster,” said David Chamowitz, Volunteer Alexandria Board President. “Training and volunteer opportunities are available with us for the public to learn more and raise awareness about emergency preparedness to help our communities be more resilient in any kind of disaster.”
American Red Cross volunteers who wish to participate in the ASSIST program should visit the American Red Cross Volunteer Connection website to sign up.
For more information about Volunteer Alexandria’s Emergency Preparedness outreach and education program, e-mail email@example.com, call 703.836.2176 or visit www.volunteeralexandria.org.
For media inquiries and other information, contact Firefighter Rick Muse, Jr., Alexandria Fire Department Community Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.746.5217.
Smoke Alarms by the Numbers
- From 2009 to 2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
- Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- No smoke alarms were present in more than one-third (38%) of the home fire deaths.
- One of every five (21%) of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but didn't sound.
- In reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but didn't operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.
*Source: National Fire Protection Association
Upcoming ASSIST Installations
ASSIST will be installing smoke alarms in the Brookville Seminary Valley area from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. Firefighter and Community Outreach Coordinator Rick Muse Jr. will be the commanding officer for this installation. Volunteers and members of ASSIST will report to the staging area, Patrick Henry Recreation Center, located at 4643 Taney Ave., at 8:30 a.m. for a briefing prior to the start of installations. The Fire Marshals Office will provide lunch for volunteers and members of ASSIST.
On Tuesday, Aug. 14, the American Red Cross will pre-canvas the neighborhood and give a timely notification of the upcoming installation date. For additional information, contact Firefighter Rick Muse Jr at email@example.com or 703.746.5217. For more about the fire department's community outreach initiatives, visit the Community Outreach Unit webpage.
Previous ASSIST Installations
Since March 2017, the ASSIST program members have installed 462 smoke alarms in the following neighborhoods in the City of Alexandria:
- Old Town (2 installation dates)
- Hume Springs
- Seminary West
- Warwick Village
- Strawberry Hill
- Lincolnia Hills-Heywood Glen
- Lynhaven Gateway (2 installation dates)
Is your neighborhood listed above and you weren't home on the day of installation? Request a smoke alarm installation from the Alexandria Fire Department, or visit American Red Cross to learn more about the National Capital Region Home Fire Campaign and request a smoke alarm.