The campaign is part of an effort to reach out to local residents, including seniors, young people and residents of neighborhoods who are vulnerable to fire deaths. Installing smoke alarms in the homes of residents who don’t have them will increase their odds of surviving a home fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the international nonprofit safety advocate and official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 80 years, roughly 70 percent of home fire deaths in the country result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. “Smoke alarms are the most effective early warning device there is," says Sharon Gamache, executive director of NFPA’s Center for High-Risk Outreach. “Just having a smoke alarm in your home cuts your chance of dying in a fire nearly in half.”
“Our goal is to make sure residents have the protection of a smoke alarm,” says Marc Sessions, fire and life safety educator with the Wadesboro Fire Department. “Because smoke alarms alone won’t prevent every fire death, our project includes educating residents to have a home escape plan so they know what to do if the smoke alarm sounds."
During the smoke alarm installation program, local firefighters and community leaders installed 112 smoke alarms. These UL-approved alarms featured 10-year long-life batteries that comply with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and NFPA standards.
“Fire can grow and spread through a home in a matter of minutes,” says Judy Comoletti, NFPA’s assistant vice president for public education. “That’s why the advance warning provided by smoke alarms can be essential to saving lives."
“By participating in this community smoke alarm installation, is helping to ensure that local residents are safe.” adds Fire Chief Jimmy Burns.
This grant was made possible by the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal 2009 Education and Technology Grant and valued at $3,500. Long-life lithium smoke alarms will compliment the existing hard-wired alarms in these homes, providing added assurance during power outages. The Wadesboro Fire Department would like to thank Robbie Liles, Wadesboro Housing Authority and his staff for their commitment to ensuring the safety of residents.