State giving away thousands of smoke and fire alarms

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The state of Indiana is giving away thousands of smoke and fire alarms to Hoosier families in an effort to reduce fire-related deaths.

The sound of a smoke alarm could save your life in a fire.

“It’s heartbreaking that people are dying this way,” said Wade Walling, training program manager for Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security said 93 people died in fires in 2018, which was significantly more than the year before.

“People who are dying in house fires, a lot of that’s contributed to not having working smoke alarms in the home,” Walling explained.

Walling said so far in 2019, 64 people died after fires, including one on Tuesday of this week.

“If we continue on the track we’re on, it’s definitely going to outpace last year,” said Walling.

Last year, the department got a $521,000 federal grant to buy 10,000 smoke alarms with 10-year batteries, along with 1,000 SafeAwake deaf and hearing-impaired alarms that shake the bed.

Walling said the two-in-one alarms, which detect both smoke and fire, typically cost around $15-$25. The hearing-impaired alarms can cost up to $225.

The state is giving the alarms away for free, including in-home installation.

“I think it’s great, especially for those who can’t hear the alarms.” said Indianapolis resident Michaele Gambrall.

The effort is part of the state’s “Get Alarmed” campaign.

“We’re really working hard to get these out, get them installed in people’s homes and make people feel safer,” Walling said.

Walling said there are about 3,500 of the 2-in-1 alarms up for grabs, and about 350 of the hearing-impaired alarms left.

“We really don’t want anyone else to die from a house fire. The more we can get this out, the more people that install these in their homes, the safer Indiana’s going to be,” said Walling.

You can submit an application for a free alarm here.

If you have questions about the Get Alarmed program, send an email to GetAlarmed@dhs.IN.gov .

Be sure to properly prepare your family for a house fire with smoke alarm placement tips from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, steps for practicing an escape plan, and a complete home safety checklist.

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