(REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.) - Fire companies throughout Delaware have free smoke detectors on hand. It's part of 'Wake Up Delaware', a fire safety program that was started in 2001 by firemen after 16 Delawareans lost their lives to residential fires in the same year.
Wake up Delaware was started by the Department of Justice targeting low to moderate income families. Warren Jones is the Public Information Officer for the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company. He was part of the group that initiated the program."It was started for that one purpose, to have people realize the number one thing they can do to save their lives is this thing, the smoke detector. You know, our charge as firefighters, our very first charge is life safety but by using these smoke detectors, they can get out of their house before we ever get there."
This year 8 people have already died in house fires in Delaware and 5 of those 8 did not have smoke detectors.
The Community Resource Center works extensively with low-income families and individuals to help them navigate crisis. They're known for their food rescue and baby pantry, but partnering with the fire company allows them to work together to get another resource out to the families.
This year marks the first of the partnership. Rehoboth Residents were able to pick up a smoke detector from the Community Resource Center. These detectors have a life span of 10 years.
Funding for the smoke detectors at this handout comes from the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association. Those without a smoke detector are encouraged to go to their local fire company to pick one up.
The Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company reminds the community to double check that their smoke detectors are working and that they have a fresh set of batteries. If a fire is ever to occur in their home, they should get out right away.
Warren Jones says that the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company will be following up within their district over the next couple of months by going door-to-door to ensure that everyone's smoke detectors are working properly.