Firefighters from across the state traveled to Des Moines Tuesday, to pickup hundreds of free smoke alarms. State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds purchased the alarms with money from a $245,000 federal grant and a $50,000 grant from State Farm Insurance.
Firefighters and other dignitaries receive and look-over the new fire detectors in Des Moines, Tues. (Radio Iowa photo)
Reynolds has a goal to install smoke alarms in every Iowa home with children. “We’re well on our way to doing that,” Reynolds said. “We have 36,000 smoke alarms installed to date in this two year old project and our goal is to have 50,000 smoke alarms installed by the end of the year.” The grants will eventually cover the cost of roughly 11,600 smoke alarms in 2013. And there’s plenty of demand for those alarms.
“There were 5,000 structure fires in Iowa last year and of those, one in five homes did not have working smoke alarms,” Reynolds said. Firefighters from 18 Iowa cities picked up a total of 3,000 smoke alarms today (Tuesday) as part of Reynolds’ project. Among the firefighters who came to pick up alarms, were those from Denison, Carroll, Breda and Harlan.
Denison Fire Chief Cory Snowgren says the new detectors will help continue his department’s efforts to keep citizens of the community safe. He says they’ve installed over 4,000 detectors in the community, but because there are still some requests to fill, they were happy to pickup more in Des Moines, on Tuesday. The Denison Fire Department received 200 new detectors.
Snowgren says they won’t have any problem finding homes to place them in. He says they have a list of families waiting to receive the potentially life-savings alarms. The Chief says in 2012, Denison had the distinction of having the first two lives saved in the State by fire alarms. The alarm awoke a family at 2-a.m. after a 3-prong device plugged into a space heater started on fire.