At-Risk Residents Encouraged to Contact Department for Free Application
For a second time, Marshfield Fire & Rescue Department is participating in the “Home Fire Campaign” program through WiSAFE and the American Red Cross to offer free smoke detectors to members of the population statistically more at-risk of death or injury in a home fire. The goal of the campaign is to reduce deaths caused by home fires by 25 percent nationwide within five years.
To participate, departments fill out an application form and submit. If approved, the department receives free smoke detectors to then distribute to at-risk people in the community who meet certain requirements.
At-risk populations that qualify for a free detector include the elderly (65+), anyone with disabilities, children, and low-income households.
The Wisconsin Smoke Alarm Fire Education Coalition, in conjunction with the American Red Cross and the Wisconsin Smoke Alarm Fire Education Coalition, are providing alarms as well as completing the installation of those free alarms in qualified properties, specifically those where smoke alarms are absent or not adequate to protect the occupants of that home.
“It gives less fortunate people who can probably not afford detectors on their own an opportunity to get up to three free ones so they are safer in their homes,” said Deputy Chief Craig DeGrand. “Early notification of fires helps the resident get out safety, before the fire can develop.”
This round, Marshfield Fire & Rescue was awarded 24 detectors to distribute. With 12 left over from the first round, there are currently 36 detectors available.
Along with the smoke detectors, approved applicants also receive a Home Fire Escape Plan worksheet to complete with their families.
“We go to their home and install up to three detectors per home,” said DeGrand. “We do a fire safety check of the residence and check to see if they have escape plans put in place. We also discuss with them a hazard, such as tornado safety.”
By law, smoke detectors are required on each floor of a home. Detectors are invaluable when it comes to keeping people safe and reducing property damage.
“When we go on calls, if there are no smoke detectors, the fire is that much more advanced,” said DeGrand. “As the fire advances, so does the damage to a residence. Early detection can minimize the damage and offers the opportunity for you to return to your home sooner.”
Those interested in applying for a free smoke detector can contact Marshfield Fire & Rescue at 715-486-2094. Residents are encouraged to read and follow directions that come with a smoke detector, and to call the fire department with any further questions about fire safety.