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The 243 Foundation was established on January 30, 2008 as a response to the sudden and tragic death of our brother, Seth Dembowitz, at the age of 28. Seth died in a fire inside his apartment in the early morning hours of January 29, 2008. His apartment did not have sprinklers, his smoke alarm was not connected to the fire department, and he had no fire escape from his bedroom window.

The purpose of The 243 Foundation is to further Seth’s gift to this world and to honor his memory. To that end, the primary goal of The 243 Foundation is the promotion of fire safety and awareness. Respecting the danger of fire and taking personal responsibility for your safety can save your life. There are a few basic steps to take to prepare yourself and your family in case of a fire.

Make sure you have smoke alarms, and test them monthly. Smoke alarms are essential and are the most effective way to detect a fire early. Make sure your smoke alarms are connected to your local fire department or to a monitoring company. Purchase carbon monoxide alarms and test them monthly as well. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless and is undetectable by standard smoke alarms.

Have a fire escape plan to safely get out of your home, school, and/or place of business in case of an emergency. This is of heightened importance if you live and/or work above ground level. Most importantly, practice your fire plans! Fires spread quickly and smoke can be disorienting such that having a rehearsed plan can save precious time, reduce panic, and mean the difference between escaping danger or being trapped.

Take all fire alarms seriously.  Fire alarms can be caused by equipment malfunction, excess dust near the detector, human error, and a variety of other factors.  Please weigh the few minutes it would take to comply with a fire alarm against the risk of ignoring it.

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