Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com
TULSA, OK -- Every year in the United States, about 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. Most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not as a result of burns. Most deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night while the victims are asleep.
The Tulsa Fire Department is on a mission to wake people up to the dangers of house fires.
"A smoke detector is the best thing you can have as far as saving your life if there's a house fire," said Assistant Fire Marshal Tom Hufford, "because it's going to wake you up in plenty of time to get out."
The need for Tulsans to have working smoke alarms has driven Hufford and the Fire Department to send letters to residents of selected high-risk Tulsa neighborhoods.
"The program is called Project Life, and we install smoke detectors for free in a one square mile area where there has been high residential fire statistics," said Hufford.
Fire crews will be driving through the area between 21st and 31st, between Sheridan and Yale this Saturday, April 25TH. They will look for bright orange stickers included in the letters sent to these residents. If they see one they will stop to assist with installing a new smoke detector, batteries or simply check existing smoke detectors, and it's all free.
If you don't live in this area, you may receive assistance with smoke detectors by calling your local fire department's non-emergency number.
Here are some rules for installing and maintaining the smoke detectors in your home:
• Install a working smoke alarm on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.
• Test your smoke alarms at least once a month.
• Replace smoke alarm batteries twice a year, such as when resetting clocks in the fall and spring.
• Make sure alarms are placed either on the ceiling or 6-12 inches below the ceiling on the wall.
• Because children, older people and those with special needs may not wake up to the sound of a smoke alarm, parents and caregivers must incorporate this possibility into the home fire escape plan.