Working smoke alarm saves homeowners’ lives in Arlington fire

smoke-alarmsNASHVILLE (press release)—A smoke alarm installed through the State Fire Marshal’s Office “Get Alarmed Tennessee” smoke-alarm distribution program is credited with saving the lives of two people in Arlington in the wake of a Wednesday house fire.

Floor mats kept too close to space heater ignited in a bathroom at the home at 11810 U.S. Highway 64 in Arlington on Wednesday and caused the blaze, which was extinguished by fire crews.

But a potentially tragic situation was avoided because the two homeowners who were asleep in the home at the time of the fire were awakened by their working smoke alarm and escaped the house unharmed. The Arlington Fire Department installed the smoke detector on Feb. 5, 2013 through the “Get Alarmed Tennessee” program.

“It’s a fact: Smoke alarms save lives,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Julie McPeak. “A smoke alarm is a crucial part of every home, and it becomes even more important in the winter when more people use portable heaters. We want every Tennessean to have a working smoke alarm.”

Since being launched in November 2012, the State Fire Marshal’s Office “Get Alarmed Tennessee” smoke-alarm distribution program has helped create the single largest fire mortality rate reduction in state history. So far, more than 68,000 smoke alarms have been distributed through our nearly 400 local partners across Tennessee.    The alarms, which are 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms, are installed in high fire risk homes.

The program was created to help change Tennessee’s fortunes as a state with one of the highest fire mortality rates in the United States. Back in 2010, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that Tennessee’s 2006-2010 fire mortality rate was 17.7 deaths per million, giving Tennessee the sixth-highest fire mortality rate in the U.S.

Since the “Get Alarmed Tennessee” began in November 2012, the State Fire Marshal’s Office has recorded a reduction of more than 20 percent in both the number of reported structure fires and the state’s fire mortality rate. This reduction to 13.7 deaths per million is the single largest fire mortality rate reduction in our state’s recorded history.

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