As part of the State fire Marshal's "100 Year, 100%" Campaign, over the past winter during parent teacher conferences, smoke alarms surveys were completed by participating school districts. The kindergarten through sixth grade students in Cherokee were also among the school that participated.
Those surveys were sent to the State Fire Marshal in an effort to identify how many Iowa children need smoke alarms, including nearly 50 homes in Cherokee were identified. In addition to the 8,000 children, the survey helped identify over 30 families throughout Iowa having school-aged children with hearing difficulties.
Since October, the State Fire Marshal Division has been focused on ensuring there is a working smoke alarm in the home of ever child across this state. This "100 Year, 100%" smoke alarm project celebrates the 100th anniversary of the State Fire Marshal Division working to save lives. A smoke alarm is the single most important life safety device in your home and may provide early warning of a fire.
Starting on June 3, more that 4,500 dual sensors smoke alarms and 30 smoke alarms for hard of hearing children are being disseminated by Casey's General Stores trucks to local fire departments.
Those fire departments will begin a concerted effort to install smoke alarms in the homes of children identified in the smoke alarm surveys. The Cherokee Fire Department will soon be installing their smoke alarms when all persons have been notified.
Dr. Barb Latenser, Director of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic Burn Unit states, "Every year over $7,000,000 is spent in the U.S. to care for burn survivors. It is money well spent to provide early warning during a fire event in order to prevent the tragedies, pain and suffering associated with burn injuries."
State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds says, "This order fills a need for 2.320 families out of 8,000 on our list. Additional partners and funding will be needed to assure every child currently identified has two working, long-life smoke alarms installed in their home."
The State Fire Marshal and Iowa's fire service would like to thank its sponsors and the seven major partners that have come forward to provide funding needed in order to begin purchasing smoke alarms. This alarms come with no cost to the families that were surveyed.