A woman and her elderly mother who live in the Mark Twain neighborhood were alerted to a fire Dec. 20 by a smoke alarm installed by the Springfield Fire Department last year, providing them time to escape safely.
Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing injuries and deaths from a house fire. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, in each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
While Project RED Zone canvasses are currently paused due to the pandemic, Springfield firefighters have installed 3,620 smoke alarms in area neighborhoods as a component of Project RED Zone, an initiative that began in 2017. They have visited 24,634 homes in the Rountree, Delaware, West Central, Grant Beach, Westside, Heart of the Westside, Robberson, Woodland Heights, Tom Watkins, Doling, Midtown, Bissett, Weller, and Oak Grove neighborhoods as well as areas without organized neighborhood associations.
In addition to the 3,600-plus installed alarms, firefighters have tested more than 6,800 alarms to ensure they are functioning properly and have replaced over 970 batteries in existing alarms as a part of the project.
Project RED Zone – a reference to the red areas on the Springfield Fire Department’s map of fire incidents – stands for Reduce, Educate, Deliver. It is part of SFD’s Community Risk Reduction (CRR) program. The multifaceted campaign aims to ensure all homes in high-risk areas of the city have working smoke alarms.
“Now approaching year 3 of Project RED Zone, we are starting the see the positive effects of these canvasses, and our efforts to make Springfield a fire safe community” said Fire Chief David Pennington, earlier this year. “We have responded to several house fires now in which the occupants of the home have safely escaped because of a working smoke alarm that we installed for them.”
Project RED Zone is funded with the help of donations from the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri, Safe Kids Springfield, FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety grants and general revenue SFD funds designated for community risk reduction.
The Fire Department offers free smoke alarms and batteries to anyone in need. If you have questions or need smoke alarms or batteries, call the Fire Department at 417-874-2300 for assistance or to schedule an appointment for a free smoke alarm check or installation.