For Hometown News
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- The St. Lucie County Fire District, along with the 2-1-1 Call Center, launched a program to install 3,206 smoke detectors in St. Lucie County residences. The program is funded by a federal grant.
"We have had several recent fires in which a working smoke detector would have made the difference," said Deputy Chief Brian Blizzard. "We are confident that this program will save lives."
In addition, 200 smoke detectors for the hearing impaired will be available and the call center will also take calls for those smoke detectors. Those detectors for the hearing impaired will need to be installed by a licensed electrician.
St. Lucie County firefighters responded to a house fire on Feb. 18, which killed a grandmother and grandfather, and severely injured the grandson. On April 24, firefighters responded to another house fire in which two residents suffered smoke inhalation and both had to be transported to a burn center because of their injuries.
"The 2-1-1 Call Center is proud to collaborate with St. Lucie County Fire District to make smoke detectors accessible to the citizens of St. Lucie County," said Susan Buza, executive director for the 2-1-1 Call Center. "Using the 2-1-1 24-hour telephone community help line as the access point will make it easy for residents."
In 2011, 132 civilians died from fire-related incidents in Florida, with 73 percent of those being residential fires. In addition across the state, 1,003 civilians were injured in fires, with 839 of those being in residential fires.
The smoke detectors are operated by a 10-year lithium battery, so residents will not have to remember to replace batteries every year. They also have a "hush" feature so residents will be able to temporarily turn off the smoke detector if there is an accidental activation.
St. Lucie County residents can call the 2-1-1 Call Center to arrange for a smoke detector. The call center will gather information from the resident and then pass it on to the Fire District. Firefighters will arrange a time to meet the resident and install the smoke detector.