WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita firefighters have been busy this week spreading the word about fire prevention throughout the community. The fire department teamed with a south Wichita Domino’s to raise awareness of the importance of smoke detectors Wednesday.
The event was part of the National Fire Protection Association’s national partnership with the restaurant. Firefighters tagged along with delivery drivers for two hours. Firefighters checked the home’s smoke detectors at homes where the food was delivered. The premise is simple; if the batteries work, the pizza is free. If not, firefighters replace the batteries or install a new alarm.
The detector in one Wichita home they visited had no battery. Megan Smith was surprised to see firefighters show up with her pizza.
“It was weird but I mean it was pretty cool you know it gets awareness up for making sure your smoke detectors work because you never know when you’re really going to need it,” Smith said.
Captain Stu Bevis says last year 5 people died in fires in Wichita. In 4 of those deaths the homes did not have working smoke detectors.
“Very sad when we have a fire we go though and we find out we didn’t have any working smoke alarms somebody is hurt, somebody is significantly injured or even dies in a fire with something as simple as a $10 smoke alarm may have given them the minutes they need to get out,” Bevis said.
Fire prevention awareness week continues through Saturday with open houses at Wichita fire stations. Friday is the Smoke Alarm Blitz. That’s when firefighters will deliver and install dozens of smoke alarms across the city. The money for the alarms comes out of the fire department’s budget.