Alabama Smoke Alarm Initiative
Alabama ranks among the top 10 states in terms of fire deaths and injuries. The Alabama Smoke Alarm Initiative (ASAI) was created to reduce these incidences by reaching at-risk communities with home fire safety education and by installing smoke alarms at no cost to homeowners. Communities considered to be at-risk are those with high fire fatality rates, high poverty rates, and low populations.
The ASAI partners with local fire departments in high-risk areas to implement the Initiative. Fire departments chosen to participate agree to conduct door-to-door home visits in its fire service area in order to provide home fire safety education and to install free smoke alarms.
Program volunteers emphasize home fire safety by teaching residents the importance of creating a family fire escape plan and designating a safe place to meet outside. The volunteers also teach residents about smoke alarm installation, maintenance, and testing.
Since October of 2001, the ASAI has worked with 36 fire departments in 21 Alabama counties, and in 2005, it was recognized with the “Billie Gilliland Exceptional Contribution to Rural Accident Prevention Award.”
Firefighters and volunteers from the selected communities have provided in-home fire safety education to more than 8,000 households. As of March 1, 2010, more than 8,000 smoke alarms have been installed and 77 lives have been saved.