Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announced New Initiative to Distribute Smoke Alarms to Baltimore Residents

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Bernard C. "Jack" Young
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
James E. Bentley II
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Federal funding provides thousands of smoke alarms, residents can call 311 to request alarm.

Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by Fire Chief James Clack, City Fire Marshal Raymond O’Brocki, and Lisa Allen, Director of the City 311 Call Center, to announce a new initiative to distribute smoke alarms to Baltimore residents free-of-charge. Residents can request smoke alarms, purchased with funding from a federal grant program, by calling 311. Fire fighters from neighborhood stations will deliver the smoke alarms.

“The single most important life-saving device in a home is a smoke alarm,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “We feel that it is our duty in these tough economic times to leverage funding to make it easier for residents to get the safety and protection they need.”

A federal grant supported the purchase of 10,000 new smoke alarms with lithium batteries, which will last for ten years. Now, resident can call 311 to request a smoke alarm for their residence. Upon receiving a call from city residents, 311 Call Center agents will complete a Smoke Alarm Installation Request form. The installation request form will be immediately forwarded to the Fire Communications Bureau. At that time, a fire suppression company will be dispatched to the respective resident’s home to install a ten-year lithium, tamper resistant smoke alarm.

“Our primary goal in this project is to make certain that we protect our citizens from the danger of residential fires,” said Chief Clack. “For everyone to be successful, the community will have to do their part in this effort, and that’s to call 311. We are striving very hard to reach a goal that has not yet been accomplished, and that’s to have zero fire fatalities in our city.”

Recently, the Johns Hopkins University performed a study of smoke alarms installed by the Fire Department. The study found that, after a year, the 10-year lithium battery smoke alarms were still in place and working in 90% of the homes. Alarms with conventional batteries were still in place and working only about 40% of the time a year later.

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