PIKEVILLE, Ky. (Press Release) - The Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet's Division of Fire Protection today announced a partnership with the Kidde Co. and the Pike County Firefighters Association to install 250 smoke detectors in homes throughout Pike County. A fire that killed four children, their father and seriously injured their mother earlier this month brought attention to the dangers of living in a house without a smoke alarm.
A press conference at the Pikeville Fire Department Training Center detailed plans for the initiative and many people spoke about the program's importance.
"Your job is the same as mine," Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford told those in attendance, most of whom were firefighters. "We have to keep the citizens of Pike County safe, and that is why we are here today."
The Kidde Co., located in Mebane, N.C., is a manufacturer of fire safety products including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers and has donated the smoke detectors.
Nearly 250 smoke detectors were donated by the Kiddie Co. In order to receive a free smoke detector, contact your local fire department in any way - phone calls, e-mail, facebook - and request a detector. Your name will then be added to a list, that list will be taken to firefighters association president Randy Courtney and disbursed through local fire departments.
Doug Tackett, Pike County Emergency Services Director, who is also the county's fire department coordinator, said the free smoke detectors are another step toward safety and education.
"We know fires are going to happen," Tackett said. "What we are trying to do with the fire safety trailer, going into schools and now the smoke detectors is to try and educate people and take preventative measures so in the event of a fire, the likelihood of a casualty or casualties will be drastically minimized."
Taken the safety a step further, a member of your local fire department will install the smoke detector for those who receive one, to ensure proper location and installation.
"We thank the Kidde Co. for stepping forward to provide these smoke alarms and for helping increase awareness of the importance of installing smoke detectors in residences," said William Swope, director of the Division of Fire Prevention, which is part of the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction. "We are about to embark on an initiative that is vital to preventing loss."
Smoke alarms are just one component in a complete fire safety home escape plan, says Swope.
"Kentucky families should take time together to map out a plan for escaping a home fire that includes two emergency exits and then, practice the plan," he said.
Swope reiterated that during the winter months, you can't talk about fire safety without talking about heating equipment, including furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and portable heaters.
"Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment and remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed," he said.