Fire Prevention Month Will Center on Smoke Alarms

Friday, October 1, 2010 - 10:53am

The City of Madison Fire Department will kick off Fire Prevention Week with the annual Dane County Fire Chiefs Association Fire Truck Parade on State St. Sunday's parade will to begin at 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of State Street and Lake Street and proceed up State Street to the Capitol Square. Once at the Square, the fire trucks will be on display until 3:00 p.m.

That event promises to be the only thing that's the same this year. The Department typically uses the month of October to visit the City's elementary schools with interactive programming that teaches fire safety and prevention.

This year however, members of the Department's Prevention Unit, Command Staff, Administrative Staff, and Fire Fighters Local 311 will spend the month installing hundreds of smoke alarms in homes across the City.

The opportunity is the result of two federal grants that have come in the wake of the City's adoption of a new smoke alarm ordinance. The Department is receiving approximately $75,000 to purchase and install smoke alarms in homes whose occupants include young children, older adults and people living with a disability.

The effort is bolstered by the national campaign's theme this year: Smoke Alarms, A Sound You Can Live With.

An estimated 95% of American homes have smoke alarms. What's less clear is how many are outdated or inoperable. Smoke alarms are designed to be replaced every 10 years. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside all sleeping areas, and on every level of the home, including the basement. According to the NFPA, which develops NFPA 72, National Smoke Alarm Code®, many homes still don't have that level of protection. Unfortunately, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths per year result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms at all or no working smoke alarms.


  • Lori Wirth (Prevention Activities)(608) 266-5947
  • Bernadette Galvez (Parade)(608) 279-7168