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Belle Glade Receives 600 Free Smoke Detectors

5/30/2003

CONTACT: Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842
Lt. Richard Schuler
(561)-681-6389

BELLE GLADE – The City of Belle Glade will receive a special package today -- 600 smoke detectors that local firefighters will be able to install for free in at-risk homes.

The smoke alarm give-away is being coordinated by the Department of Financial Services and the State Fire Marshal's Office in partnership with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), Home Depot, First Floridian Auto and Home Insurance Company and USAA. Kicked off last fall, already some 2,300 smoke detectors have been delivered to fire departments in the City of Eatonville, the City of Apalachicola and Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

The give-away is part of a statewide effort to increase the number of working smoke alarms in Florida homes, said Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who also serves as State Fire Marshal.

"At least half of all fire-related deaths can be prevented by a smoke detector," Gallagher said. "Our goal is to equip every Florida home with these life-saving devices."

Locations are selected based on the number of fire-related deaths and injuries in these areas, economic need and the willingness of the fire departments to install the smoke detectors.

"We hope that the communities will not only benefit from the donations, but also look to identify ways to continue to bring smoke detectors to low-income and at-risk homes," said FLASH Director Leslie Chapman-Henderson.