Dec. 23--Two businesses have joined the Wichita Fire Department's initiative to provide smoke alarms for residents who need them.
Tyco SimplexGrinnell donated 250 First Alert smoke alarms, and Shelter Insurance presented a $1,000 check to the program on Monday. The donations come at the end of a year that has seen 11 fatalities in house fires -- four of them in a single blaze.
Wichita typically averages about four fire deaths in a year.
"Even one is too many," Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell said.
Many of this year's deaths were caused by fires at residences where there was no smoke alarm or it did not activate, fire officials said. They serve as reminders of how important properly functioning smoke alarms are.
"Smoke alarms don't sleep," Fire Marshal Brad Crisp said.
This is a good time of year for families to review their fire safety plans, including escape routes. There were two Christmas Day fires last year alone, Blackwell said.
For more information or questions regarding smoke alarms or fire prevention safety, Crisp said, call the fire prevention section at 316-268-4441 or go to www.wichita.gov.
Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.
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