Thanks to a donation of $15,000 from Carrollton-based manufacturing company Western Extrusions, Carrollton Fire Rescue (CFR) will be able to purchase and install 1,000 free smoke alarms in homes throughout especially at-risk areas of the City.
The donation and the alarms will support CFR’s long-term goal of a more robust community smoke alarm program.
“The City is grateful for Western Extrusions’ generous donation to supply life-saving smoke alarms throughout residents’ homes,” Carrollton Mayor Kevin Falconer said. “Our vision for Carrollton is to be the community that families and businesses want to call home. Our commitment to protecting the lives of all of our citizens with efforts like the smoke alarm program continues to make Carrollton one of the safest places to live, work, and play.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. NFPA estimates that individuals have one to two minutes to exit the home. Working smoke alarms give early warning, so residents can get outside quickly and save lives.
“We could not have implemented the smoke alarm program without the partnership of Western Extrusions,” CFR Chief Gregg Salmi said. “Dozens of families have been helped in the initial efforts of this program and hundreds more will be able to sleep better knowing their loved ones are safer, thanks to Western Extrusions.”
To participate in the program, CFR has compiled a list of neighborhoods that would best benefit from a one-on-one interaction with CFR Fire Prevention personnel. A neighborhood may be chosen because of the age of the homes, the demographic of the homeowners, or a request from residents.
If a street is next on the list, CFR will distribute printed information to all houses explaining, in English and Spanish, that it would like to conduct a check of the smoke alarms in the home for safety purposes. The information will also provide a specific day, date, and time for CFR personnel to return.
On that date, with good weather and the permission of each homeowner, CFR will return to educate residents on fire and life safety in their homes, answer questions they may have concerning fire and safety, and test existing smoke alarms, replace non-functioning ones, and install additional smoke alarms, if needed. This is a free service performed by CFR and made possible by Western Extrusions.
“During a residential fire, every second is critical to alerting homeowners to a dangerous situation,” Bennett McEvoy, Vice President of Sales for Western Extrusions, said. “Donating to Carrollton’s smoke alarm program is the company’s way of giving back to the community it has called home for more than 40 years. Providing alarms to homes in need is giving our neighbors the best chance at survival if a fire should occur.”
The smoke alarms are equipped with a 10-year, tamper-resistant battery and a dual sensor that combines both photoelectric and ionization technology. The photoelectric feature is more responsive to smoldering fires that produce a lot of smoke at the beginning, and the ionization feature is more responsive to flaming fires that ignite quickly.
“CFRs Prevetion Division and Western Extrusions are working together to lessen the risk of fire deaths for Carrollton residents,” Carrollton Fire Marshal Herb Cavenaugh said. “When a tragic loss of life occurs in a house fire, too often that scenario is linked with a lack of working smoke alarms. CFR’s goal is to ensure that every home in Carrollton has an early detection system for the dangerous smoke and fumes produced in a house fire.”
NFPA’s 2020 Desk Reference states the risk of dying in a home fire is 55 percent lower in homes with working smoke alarms. In 2021, the NFPA report on Smoke Alarms in US Home Fires stated three out of five home-fire deaths were caused in properties with no smoke alarms.
If a smoke alarm sounds in a home, residents should stop what they are doing, choose the best way to exit the room, get outdoors quickly, and meet family outside in a designated area.
To have a neighborhood added to CFR’s list or for more information, call the Fire Marshal’s office at 972-466-3070.