HBA to Give 400 Smoke Alarms to Fire Department on Tuesday

CONTACT: Matt Morrow, HBA CEO (417-844-9077)

SPRINGFIELD — The Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield (HBA) will deliver and officially present 400 new smoke detectors to the Springfield Fire Department as a part of the Springfield City Council’s planning luncheon on Tuesday, April 26, at 12:00 noon on the fourth floor conference room of the Busch Building in downtown Springfield. The Springfield City Council recently passed a resolution declaring 2011 the “Year of the Smoke Alarm” in support of the Springfield Fire Department’s goal of installing 1,000 smoke detectors in the city, in those homes that are older and whose occupants are therefore statistically at far greater risk of fire death or injury. The HBA of Greater Springfield will supply 40% of the annual goal with this one donation.

“We know that 90 percent of fire-related deaths in Springfield occur in homes without working smoke detectors,” said Matt Morrow, HBA CEO. “We were very pleased to see the Springfield Fire Department’s initiative to make 2011 the ‘Year of the Smoke Alarm’ and we share the Department’s commitment to expanding access to life-saving smoke alarms. Thankfully, all new homes built under modern building codes include working, hard-wired, inter-connected smoke alarms throughout the house. But it is equally important to make sure that older homes, built before smoke detectors were required by code, have working smoke detectors. That’s where nearly all residential fire deaths happen, and it is where our attention should be focused to save lives. Working smoke alarms are the most cost effective and proven method to prevent death and loss of property.”

HBA members Meek’s – The Builder’s Choice and Metro Appliances and More rallied to help, and the association was able to purchase smoke detectors and batteries to donate to SFD’s project. “With money tight and homeowners cutting back, we wanted to help our city’s fire professionals spread the word and get as many working detectors into high-risk homes as possible,” said Morrow. “A home should be a safe haven for the family that resides in it. That can literally be the case if the home has a working smoke detector,” said Morrow.

The detectors will be installed by Springfield Fire Department employees. HBA builder members have also volunteered to help if extra manpower is needed.

Modern building codes require hard-wired smoke detection systems to be installed in all new homes. The requirement, along with other modern building practices and codes, has contributed to a substantial decrease in fire deaths over the last thirty years (see data below). In fact, statistically, modern building techniques and modern building codes have made building a new home one of the most fire-safe decisions a person or family can make.

For more information about the importance of smoke detectors for fire protection in homes, visit: www.smokealarmswork.org