Elderly and low income residents of eleven Texas cities (Amarillo, Edinburg, El Paso, Farmers Branch, Galveston, Glenn Heights, Longview, Mansfield, McKinney, New Braunfels, and Wichita Falls) will be receiving smoke alarms from their local firefighters, as part of this year’s “We’re Out to Alarm Texas” smoke alarm campaign. Now in it’s sixth year, the program has saved three lives and prevented several homes across the state from being destroyed by fire.
As part of a partnership between the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT), the State Fire Marshall’s office, First Alert, and the Travelers Insurance Companies to donate the alarms to firefighters who will install them and monitor fire runs to those homes. In total, there were twelve hundred smoke alarms were donated this year, just in time for Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 3rd – October 9th.
The elven cities were chosen by the State Fire Marshal’s Office because of the willingness of the fire departments there to install the smoke alarms, and because these cities all have high fire fatality counts. The smoke alarms are available to homeowners in each city on a first come, first served basis. Firefighters then install the alarms, and alert the homeowners to possible fire hazards.
Since the We’re Out to Alarm Texas program began in 2005, more than 6,000 smoke alarms were installed in 17 Texas cities. In the first year, elderly residents of Waco and New Braunfels were rescued by firefighters after alerts came in from donated alarms.
According to Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas said, “It didn’t take us long to see that the program saves lives and property. The program has brought fire departments closer to their community and helped educate its residents to the benefits of a functioning smoke alarm.”