Program launched to get more smoke alarms inside Hoosier homes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Department of Homeland Security, along with the American Red Cross have introduced The Get Alarmed program. 

It involves getting 10,000 free, working smoke alarms into Hoosier homes that can’t afford them. The program will also provide an additional 1,000 alarms for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Fire officials say a working smoke alarm offers the best chance to escape a house fire safely.

Last year, the state tracked 21 more deaths from home fires than in 2017, and many of those homes had no working smoke alarms.

Fire officials hope to change that not just by handing out free alarms, but by educating and training people on how to use them. 

“Even if your smoke alarm goes off and you’re not sure you can smell it and you can’t see smoke, there may be something else that caused that smoke alarm to go off,” Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson said. “At least exit your home until you find out it’s safe to go back in.”

A federal grant provided funding for the program, but Greeson said the plan was to keep Get Alarmed going. 

Data collected from these alarms will help fire officials keep Indiana homeowners safe. 

Greeson said anyone is invited to apply for the program.