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Smoke Alarm Initiative

By Glenn Collins
Friday, December 17, 2010 | 12:00 AM

(L to r) Shayla Jackson, Samille Jackson of ADPH's Injury Prevention Division, Mayor Ken Sunseri and Fire Chief Phillip Weaver at Santa's Hut during the kickoff of the Alabama Smoke Alarm Initiative. Samille, along with her sister, drove from Montgomery for the kickoff.

The Alabama Department of Public Health and Haleyville Fire Department recently kicked off the Alabama Smoke Alarm Initiative at Santa's Hut at Christmas By The Lake.

According to ADPH, Alabama ranks among the top 10 states in terms of fire deaths and injuries. The Alabama Smoke Alarm Initiative (ASAI) was created to reduce these incidences by reaching at-risk communities with home fire safety education and by installing smoke alarms at no cost to homeowners.

Now through Christmas, Halevyille fire service area residents can apply for free smoke alarms at Santa's Hut during Christmas By The Lake, or, during the day, at the Haleyville Fire Department.

Haleyville Fire Department will conduct door-to-door home visits in order to provide home fire safety education and to install free smoke alarms.

Program volunteers emphasize home fire safety by teaching residents the importance of creating a family fire escape plan and designating a safe place to meet outside.  The volunteers also teach residents about smoke alarm installation, maintenance, and testing.

Since October of 2001, the ASAI has worked with 36 fire departments in 21 Alabama counties, and in 2005, it was recognized with the "Billie Gilliland Exceptional Contribution to Rural Accident Prevention Award." 

Firefighters and volunteers from the selected communities have provided in-home fire safety education to more than 8,000 households. As of March 1, 2010, more than 8,000 smoke alarms have been installed and 77 lives have been saved.

The initiative is administered by the Alabama Department of Public Health, in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal's Office.  It is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Posted in Life & Times