Spokane Valley Fire Department will be making safety visits to more than 500 homes in high-risk areas over the next year, thanks to a $117,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“With nearly 60 percent of all home fire fatalities occurring in residences without working smoke alarms, our goal is to prevent residents from becoming part of that statistic,” Elysia Spencer, the department’s community risk reduction specialist, said in a news release.
Valley Fire expects to distribute 3,000 smoke alarms, 500 carbon monoxide alarms, 100 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, 100 flashing light alarms and 100 bed shaker alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing, Spencer said.
High-risk neighborhoods were identified through analysis of fire department data, demographics, the age of homes in the area, and risk factors including fire fatalities within the last 10 years, according to Spencer.
The first of two planned blitzes in targeted areas was completed last week in the University neighborhood. Volunteers knocked on more than 450 doors and tested existing alarms in 99 homes, she said. In all, the volunteers installed 386 new alarms.
In one home, where a family of seven lived, volunteers found four smoke alarms but none was working. They installed eight smoke alarms in that house.
So far this year, Valley Fire personnel have visited more than 400 homes and installed nearly 1,300 new smoke alarms, 80 batteries, 10 carbon monoxide alarms, one flashing light alarm and one bed shaker alarm. In addition, more than 50 working alarms found inside the homes were reinstalled or relocated for proper function.
All residents of the Valley Fire protection district – which includes the city of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Millwood and unincorporated areas of Spokane County – are eligible for a free home safety visit. These visits can be scheduled by calling (509) 892-4153 or online at www.spokanevalleyfire.com.
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