LITTLE FERRY, N.J. -- Members of Rebuilding Together Bergen County marked its first "Fire Safety Day" by installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in several communities on Saturday.
The volunteers drilled, inspected and installed safety devices for seniors and disabled residents of Cliffside Park, Little Ferry, Moonachie and Ridgefield Park to ensure they would pre prepared in case of fire.
The need clearly is great, said Gretchen Viggiano, executive director of Rebuilding Together, given that so many homes visited yesterday didn't have functioning smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors.
To remedy this, several dozen volunteers with the non-profit group installed the detectors in 40 so homes. They also brought fire extinguishers and explained what to do in case of an emergency.
"We taught homeowners about needing to know a route out of the house [during a fire]," Viggiano told Daily Voice, "and that they really only have two to three minutes to get out."
Odette Poules, a 10-year Little Ferry resident, said: "I've very much glad [they came]. They are very helpful."
Pete Gross has volunteered for several projects over nearly a decade with Rebuilding Together Bergen County, which is dedicated to helping low-income homeowners through home renovations and repairs.
"We worked in Little Ferry after [Superstorm] Sandy and all kinds of other stuff," Gross said. "It's just a great organization that tries to help people."
Another volunteer, Judith Ashbrook, said it's not only a good cause but fun, as well.
"I think it's really a blessing to be able to help people," Ashbrook told Daily Voice. "I know myself there's certain things you're able to do, even at age 50, and other things I can no longer do."
Smoke-alarm installation is still available. Viggiano said people can call Rebuilding Together Bergen County at (201) 447-8886 to schedule an appointment.