STATEWIDE SMOKE ALARM PROGRAM TO CURB RISE IN FATAL HOME FIRES

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) has launched a new free smoke alarm program for Hoosiers with a goal of installing 10,000 smoke alarms in homes in two years.

The Get Alarmed program (GetAlarmed.in.gov)—managed by the Indiana Fire Marshal in partnership with the American Red Cross—offers up to three free smoke alarms for Indiana homeowners. The program works with local fire departments and service providers to properly install the alarms and educate residents about fire prevention and safety.

Get Alarmed is funded via a federal Fire Prevention and Safety Grant awarded to the Indiana Fire Marshal, who oversees the IDHS Division of Fire and Building Safety. The $521,000 grant will provide 10,000 smoke alarms (each containing a 10-year lithium battery), 1,000 alarms for the deaf and hard-of-hearing as well as educational support for residents, fire departments and service providers.

“This program comes at an important time for Hoosiers as we experienced an increase in fatal home fires in 2018, many in homes that had no working smoke alarms,” Fire Marshal Jim Greeson said. “Nothing can guarantee your safety in a fire, but a working smoke alarm gives you the best chance at escaping serious injury or death. Every second counts in a home fire.”

Last year, the Fire Marshal tracked 93 fatalities from home fires compared to 72 the previous year. Nationally, two-thirds of all fatal house fires occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

The partnership with the American Red Cross will allow the Get Alarmed program to benefit from the network created by the Red Cross through a history of fire prevention and education at the national level. Both entities will share fire data to help the program target areas with an increase in home fires for both smoke alarms and educational outreach.

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