New WFD Public Safety Initiative
The Wichita Fire Department (WFD) today launched Project Smoke Alarm, a new public safety initiative designed to reduce fire fatalities by providing 300 free smoke alarms and 500 batteries to homeowners who do not currently have a working smoke alarm.
This year, six Wichita residents have died in house fires, nearly two deaths more than the national average for a city of similar size. Smoke alarms were either not present or did not function in three of the house fires including the Sept. 18 fire that took the life of a teenage girl. Nationwide more than 66 percent of home fire deaths occurred when a working smoke alarm was not present.
“We can reduce and eliminate these fires and deaths with the simple act of installing a smoke alarm,” Mayor Carl Brewer said. “I want to thank Wichita’s Bravest and its partners for leading on this important public safety initiative.”
The WFD is partnering with the Safe Kids Coalition, Scholfield Automobile Dealerships and Interstate All Battery Center to provide the smoke alarms and batteries. Firefighters will install them for free beginning on Monday, Oct. 17. Residents should call the Wichita Fire Prevention Division at 268-4441 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment. Firefighters will also test existing smoke alarms for residents.
“The Wichita City Council has made citizens’ safety and security a priority,” Wichita Fire Chief Ronald D. Blackwell said. “We encourage residents to call us and take advantage of this free service. A working smoke alarm significantly increases survival rates in a home fire by surveying the air for smoke, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
For future information or questions regarding smoke alarms or fire prevention safety, please call Fire Prevention at 268-4441.