On September 30, 2011, during a press conference at Fire Station 37 (7026 Stella Link), the Houston Fire Department, State Farm and Clear Channel Outdoors announced the kickoff of a new safety campaign which focuses on the importance of having working smoke detectors in the home throughout the City of Houston.
Beginning Monday, October 3, 2011 through the end of the month, citizens will see 14 foot by 48 foot billboards placed throughout the City that state: “A $5 Smoke Detector Saved Our Lives!” Install Smoke Detectors in Your Home Today!
According to local statistics, one out of three residential fires the HFD responds to do not have a smoke detector at all, or the smoke detector does not work.
“Fire doubles in size every 30 seconds,” said Assistant Chief Lisa Campbell. “Although most fires are preventable, they do happen, and a working smoke detector gives you and your family the extra minutes needed to safely get out of your home.”
This campaign is funded by the State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship $15 thousand Grant which HFD applied for in July of this year.
“Getting messages out about smoke alarms can provide early detection that can result in saved lives and reduced fire losses,” said State Farm spokesperson Stacie Gaynor. “We commend the efforts of Chief Garrison and all the members of the Houston Fire Department for their valuable service to the community,” she said.
Clear Channel Outdoor has also drastically discounted the ad-space which will consist of four billboards that will be located in English at Highway 59 and Newcastle; I-10 East at Uvalde; and FM 1960 at Ella; and in Spanish at I-45 Gulf Freeway at College.
“While we donate hundreds and hundreds of public service messages every year, nothing could be more important than ones that have such potential to save lives. We are proud to be a part of this effort to remind everyone that having a working smoke detector in your home could save your life,” Lee Vela, vice president of public affairs for Clear Channel-Houston, said.
Fire Chief Terry Garrison also pointed out that “This a very important life-saving tool for residents, allowing them valuable seconds to get out safely.”
HFD recommends that citizens replace the smoke detectors at least every ten years, change batteries when you set your clocks forwards and backwards for daylight saving time, and check batteries at least once a month.
“This campaign, which runs through October, will tie into the National Fire Prevention Theme for this year as well "Protect Your Family from Fire, “said Campbell. “ With this in mind, we would like to remind citizens that a practiced escape plan is vital, even if you have a working smoke detector.”
Additional information about smoke detectors, safety tips, and to see if a resident may qualify for a free smoke detector through the HFD “Get Alarmed!” program may be found on the HFD website at www.houstonfire.org. Citizens may also contact the HFD Public Affairs Office at 832.394.6633.