Friday, July 30, 2010 - 2:59am
The City's smoke alarm ordinance enters its second phase on August 15, when homeowners will need to replace old smoke alarms with units that meet the new standard.
Under the ordinance passed last year, all smoke alarms must have a 10-year lithium battery in a tamper-resistant alarm unit. 9-volt batteries will no longer be used UNLESS they are being used as a battery back-up to a hard-wired alarm.
The ordinance also requires additional alarms in the residence:
oIn each bedroom
oIn each sleeping area
oWithin six feet of each door leading to a bedroom or sleeping area of each unit
oOn each floor of the building
The ordinance goes into effect on August 15 for owner-occupied, single-family homes. Last August was the deadline for rental property and multi-family housing.
Information on the ordinance, placement of the alarms, and safety education materials is available on the Department's website at www.madisonfire.org .
The passage of the City smoke alarm ordinance has attracted grant funding for a smoke alarm installation program. The Department has been awarded a Fire Prevention and Safety grant to purchase and install more than 3,000 smoke alarms for homeowners who are at the greatest risk of injury or death in a fire. The United States Fire Administration considers young children, older adults, people with disabilities, and people living in poverty at highest risk.
The grant program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, enhances fire departments' ability to protect the public and fire service personnel from fire and related hazards.
The City of Madison Fire Department received $35,268 to help at-risk residents receive early warning in the event of a fire in their home. Smoke alarms provide early warning of fires, allow people more time to safely escape, and reduce fire deaths and injuries.
Early detection of fires often results in smaller fires which cause less property damage and present less danger to the firefighters who must respond to the fires.
The Madison Fire Department is working with community organizations to identify the homes needing smoke alarms.
Members of Madison Fire Fighters Local 311 are helping to install the alarms in residents' homes. Besides the alarms, residents will also receive fire safety information and materials.
To determine if you qualify, please contact the City of Madison Fire Department Community Education Unit at (608) 266-4709.
- Lori Wirth(608) 266-5947