A powerful mural has gone up in New York City, with actor and activist Jesse Williams on hand for its unveiling.
The former Grey's Anatomy star joined his brothers, Matt Williams and Coire Williams, a New York City firefighter, for the launch of Kidde's Cause For Alarm campaign, held in the Bronx borough of New York on October 12, 2020. The event kicked off a new fire safety awareness-building initiative that addresses gaps in fire education and access to fire safety measures. Famed NYC artist Cey Adams painted the powerful mural, which showcases a small house being swallowed in big, bold red and orange flames.
"Fatal house fires disproportionately impact the Black community, my community, and it's vital to get behind campaigns such as Cause For Alarm so we can help avoid major, catastrophic events," declared Williams. "This campaign is also personal to me because my brother is a firefighter and risks his life daily. By supporting Cause For Alarm, I hope to help educate on how our communities can help protect themselves, and their firefighters, from deadly fires."
Kidde, a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and safety accessories, created the "Cause For Alarm" campaign in response to a devastating statistic: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Research found that African Americans face nearly two times the risk of house fire deaths.
Adams' mural, located at the corner of Jerome Avenue and West 169th St. in New York City, was created to prompt conversation and inspire change in the community, which has been impacted by fire safety inequity first-hand. Earlier this year, a high-rise fire in the Bronx, killed 17 people, including eight children.
"The work I create always tells a deeper story about the cultural and community issues of my subjects," said Adams. "This piece tells the story of how residents in the Bronx can work together to help ensure a devastating fire does not occur again. Working with Kidde on Cause For Alarm is my small way of helping residents learn they can protect themselves and live safely and securely in their own homes."
Infused with meaning and purpose to put an issue that is often out of sight and out of mind, the mural will be on display through October 31, 2022.
The Bronx Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports and invests in community power to eradicate inequity and build sustainable futures for all Bronxites, received a monetary donation from iHeartImpact, a division of iHeartMedia, through the media company's collaboration with Kidde.
Kidde has teamed up with The Home Depot and other businesses to donate fire safety products to the FDNY Foundation and Habitat for Humanity to help ensure that life-saving products get into the hands of those who need them most. For every Kidde alarm purchased at participating businesses through November 2022, a $1 contribution will be made toward donated smoke alarms, up to a total retail value of $1 million.
In addition, a $1 contribution toward donated smoke alarms will be made to the Bronx Community Foundation, up to a $100,000 retail value, for every post of the mural on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter tagging @KiddeFireSafety and the hashtag #CauseForAlarm, or on TikTok tagging #KiddeFireSafety and #CauseForAlarm through the end of the month.