Fond du Lac Firefighters: 'All Homes Should Have Smoke Detectors'
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
FOND DU LAC, WI -- Area fire departments are taking new steps to prevent fire fatalities.
Fond du Lac fire unveiled their new plan today to make sure people living the city have working smoke detectors. They're not the only department using the procedure.
“When a tragedy does strike, it's one that doesn't get repeated,” said Peter O’Leary, Chief of the Fond du Lac Fire.
That's the goal of the department.
“This program has been in the works for a couple of months,” he said.
Firefighters will go knocking; canvassing the neighborhood to make sure everyone has a smoke detector. If not they'll install one for free.
They're not the only department cracking down on alarms.
“The fatalities we've had, 9 out of 10 times, it's because they didn't have a working smoke detector,” said Captain Mike Woodzicka, Appleton Fire Dept. “The biggest challenge is funding.”
In 2011, the Appleton Fire Dept. applied for a grant through the federal government. They received $42,000, and installed more than 1,300 smoke detectors. This year, their grant totals $140,000 and they have a goal of 2,200 smoke detector installations.
“A smoke detector on the wall without a battery won't do you any good,” said Capt. Woodzicka.
They first targeted low-to-moderate income families. Now, they’re expanding to anyone who needs one in the city.
“You can replace buildings, you can replace content of buildings, but you can't replace lives. The best way to prevent a fatality is a smoke detector,” he added.