Champaign Fire Department Partners with Community Organizations to Install Smoke Alarms


Firefighters from the Champaign Fire Department, Staff from Champaign’s Neighborhood Services Department, and members of several community organizations will install smoke alarms in a two-phased process over several weekends in April.

This campaign is part of an effort to reach out to residents in two high-risk neighborhoods, with borders of Mattis Avenue to the west; McKinley Avenue to the east; the railroad tracks along Paula Drive to the north; and the railroad tracks along Maple Street to the south.  This area was identified using Fire Department response data as the highest risk area in Champaign.  While nationally the incidence of fire occurrences has decreased over the past decade, this particular area has seen an increase of fire occurrences by 12 percent over the last five years.

On Saturday, April 2nd, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., teams will walk through the campaign area placing door hangers and yard signs to let the neighborhood know about the upcoming installation.

Then, on Saturday, April 16th, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., these same homes will be revisited to perform free smoke alarm inspections and installations as needed.  The installation of smoke alarms is part of a targeted-neighborhood fire prevention effort using funds awarded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Fire Prevention Grant.  An estimated 800 smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide detectors are scheduled to be installed.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the international nonprofit leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety and official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, working smokealarms are the key to saving lives from fire.

“Smoke alarms are the most effective early warning device there is,” says Judy Comoletti, NFPA’s division manager for public education. “Just having a smoke alarm in your home cuts your chance of dying in a reported fire in half.”

“Fire can grow and spread through a home in a matter of minutes,” said Fire Chief Gary Ludwig. “That’s why the advance warning provided by smoke alarms can be essential to saving lives. By participating in this community smoke alarm installation, the Champaign Fire Department is helping to ensure that local residents are safer in their homes.  Our project includes educating residents to also have a home fire escape plan so they know what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.”

Residents who wish to schedule a home visit should call the Champaign Fire Department at 217-403-7200 and speak with either Sue or Debarah.

Contact:  Randy Smith | 217-403-7212 | [email protected]