Low Income, Elderly in 6 Texas Cities to Receive Smoke Alarms

October 1, 2008

Firefighters in six Texas cities will be installing smoke alarms into the homes of low income and elderly residents thanks to this year’s We’re Out to Alarm Texas smoke alarm campaign. The program now in its fourth year has saved three lives and prevented the destruction of several homes across the state.

The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) teams up with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Travelers Insurance Companies and First Alert to donate the smoke alarms to firefighters who install them and then monitor fire runs to these homes. More than a thousand smoke alarms will be donated to firefighters in El Paso, Edinburg, Farmers Branch, Odessa, Waco and New Braunfels just prior to the start of Fire Prevention Week (October 5 – 11).

The cities were chosen by the State Fire Marshal’s Office because of their high fire fatality count and the willingness of the fire department to install the smoke alarms into the homes of needy citizens. The smoke alarms are installed on a first come, first serve basis to homeowners in each city. Firefighters will install the smoke alarms and point out possible fire hazards in each home.

ICT, Travelers Insurance Companies and First Alert have donated more 4,000 smoke alarms to 12 Texas cities since the We’re Out to Alarm Texas smoke alarm campaign started in 2005. Within one year elderly residents in New Braunfels and Waco were rescued by firefighters after being alerted by donated smoke alarms to fires in their smoke filled homes.

“We’ve learned first hand that smoke alarms save lives and property,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas. “The program has helped fire departments work closer with their community and educate its residents to the benefits of functioning smoke alarm in their homes.”

ICT also donated 150 smoke alarms earlier this year to a 14 year old Boy Scout in Jefferson, Texas. Buck John wrote to the State Fire Marshal’s Office who contacted ICT with a request for enough smoke alarms to place one into the homes of every Meals on Wheels clients in Marion County. The request was fulfilled and it earned John his Eagle Scout award.

Source: The Insurance Council of Texas, www.insurancecouncil.org.

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