For several months efforts have been underway to provide free smoke alarms to residents of Perry County. April 17th Heiberger Volunteer Fire Department will begin installation of alarms in their protection area, with other departments starting their installations as soon as April 24th.
Heiberger Fire Chief and Perry County Fire Association President Franco Crocker says his firefighters will begin their work Saturday morning. Firefighters, wearing identification cards issued by the Alabama Smoke Alarm Initiative, will go door to door to identify those homes needing a smoke alarm or new battery for an existing smoke alarm.
Other county association departments such as Sprott, East Perry, West Perry, North Perry, and Suttle Volunteer Fire Departments have yet to announce the dates their installation programs will begin, however, it is anticipated they will start within the next few weeks. The Uniontown Volunteer Fire Department has already installed numerous alarms; however, additional alarms are yet to be installed there also.
The Perry County project is part of a statewide program created by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Injury Control Research Center External Advisory Committee working in cooperation with local agencies, organizations and individuals. Alarms are provided through donations from Radio Shack, Alabama Power Foundation, Alabama Arson Prevention Task Force, Alabama Association of Arson Investigators, individuals and other contributors.
For many years Alabama has ranked second or third annually for fire deaths per capita based on comparisons with the other forty-nine states. Most of these deaths were preventable had there been a working smoke alarm in the buildings where most victims were sleeping. These efforts by local volunteer fire departments will result in fewer injuries and deaths, as well as reduced fire losses, through early detection and notification of fire to home occupants.