FREE SMOKE ALARMS

Yes, that’s right, FREE smoke alarms.  Along with the Red Cross the Garland Fire Department would like to make our community safer.

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you have just two minutes to escape? Did you know fires double in size every minute?

Here are some interesting fire stats according to the National Fire Protection Agency from 2014:

  • One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.
  • One civilian fire injury was reported every 33 minutes.
  • One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 41 minutes.
  • One outside and other fire was reported every 52 seconds.

Some interesting facts about causes of fires:

On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day.  Candles caused 3% of total reported home fires, and home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of associated direct property damage during 2009-2013.

Cooking has long been the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries, as well as one of the leading causes of home fire deaths.  U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 162,400 home structure fires involving cooking equipment per year. These fires caused an annual average of 430 civilian deaths, 5,400 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage. Overall, cooking equipment was involved in 45% of reported home fires.

The importance of smoke/fire alarms:

In 2009-2013, fires in homes with no smoke alarms caused an average of 940 deaths per year (38% of home fire deaths). An additional 510 people per year (21% of home fire deaths) were fatally injured in fires in which smoke alarms were present but failed to operate.

Almost all households indicate having smoke alarms, yet smoke alarms were present in slightly less than three-quarters (73%) of reported home fires and operated in roughly half (53%). When present in reported fires large enough to activate them, they operated 87% of the time. Hardwired smoke alarms were more likely to operate than those powered solely by batteries.   The death rate per 100 reported fires was more than twice as high in homes with no or no working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths per 100 fires) as it was in fires with working smoke alarms (0.53 deaths per 100 fires).

The fact is, smoke alarms help.  And they not only help your family, but they help us out, the firefighters.  See, you might think we like to run into burning buildings at 3 am in sub-zero temperatures.  Truth is, it’s a scary life threatening event for any firefighter.  Practice and training makes us better at responding into a burning building.  But we truly can not reproduce the conditions in training, what we as firefighters see in a real life structure fire.  Reason being – it’s not safe.  The risk is not worth the benefit.  If you and your family are alerted with a smoke/fire alarm and can exit the building before we arrive, that usually means we will take a different tactic to fighting that fire.  With no human life at risk,  the risk for firefighters does not outweigh the reward.  Simply put, your home can be replaced – human life can not.  That includes the firefighters.  They have family and loved ones that expect them to come home at night and continue to provide for their family.

So, if we can help your family and in turn help our fellow firefighters by lowering that risk to us, then it’s a win win all around.

The Red Cross will provide up to 3 smoke alarms per home free of charge.  Part of the deal is however, they must be installed.  In the past programs like this, the smoke alarms got delivered, but were never properly installed.  There will be some paperwork but the department will have teams of firefighters, and hopefully other volunteers,  coming to your home to install the alarms.

If you are interested you will just need to email us at fire@garlandfd.com and send us your name, contact # and address.  You can also call the city offices at 257-3118 and leave them your information.  You will need to be in the Garland Fire Dept response area.  Basically, from the high school north to SR 30.  From Harley Drive, east to the Bear River bottoms.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.   As we compile a list, we will contact you as to when we (or someone) will be at your home to install them.  The fire day will plan to install Saturday Feb, 20.  If our demand for alarms is more than one install day will allow for, we will pick addition days (usually a weekend day) to complete the install.  The detectors are good, quality detectors with 10 year batteries.

If we get a big response to this project, we may be looking for help with this project.  If you would like to help the community and be part of our install team, you can email or contact us at the same email and number from above.

Thanks and we hope you take advantage of the free smoke detectors!