“Be Alarmed!” Program Receives Smoke Alarm Donation

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance (IFSA) received a donation of 1,000 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms from Vision 20/20 for the “Be Alarmed!” Smoke Alarm Installation Program. Vision 20/20 partners with organizations and experts to drive Community Risk Reduction across all levels of the fire and emergency services. They help to identify gaps, evaluate and apply data-driven strategies and resources, and provide guidance in implementing adaptive measures to reduce fire and other risks.

In 2021, 2,945 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms were installed in Illinois homes. The program reached 2,268 (1,027 high-risk) Illinois residents educating them on smoke alarm maintenance, home fire safety, and home fire escape plans as well as protected by new smoke alarms. Of those home visited, 80% of pre-existing smoke alarms in homes that received new 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms from our program had non-functional or expired alarms.

Over the past 4 years, the “Be Alarmed Program!” has provided over 17,000 10-year sealed battery alarms. Vision 20/20 identified the successful outreach through this program and has provided this grant as a way to support the continued success.

“The State of Illinois CRR Taskforce helped facilitate this donation between Vision 20/20 and the “Be Alarmed!” Program. The OSFM and IFSA are active members of the taskforce which operates under the umbrella of Vision 20/20,” said Marsha Giesler State of Illinois CRR Taskforce Project Manager.

“The OSFM is committed to helping make communities safer by providing resources to local fire departments and encouraging them to engage their community members through the ‘Be Alarmed!’ or similar fire prevention programs,” said Illinois Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “It’s simple, working smoke alarms save lives! It’s important to test and inspect your smoke alarms monthly.”

“The partnership with IFSA through ‘Be Alarmed!’ has been huge success. The additional alarms provided by funds from Vision 20/20 will help to expand our outreach and mission of the program, while saving lives in Illinois,” said OSFM Fire Service Outreach Coordinator Greg Hay.

“This grant through vision 20/20 provided us with $25,000 dollars’ worth of live saving smoke alarms that will help protect Illinois residents. This will help to support ongoing efforts between the OSFM and IFSA through our ‘Be Alarmed!’ program,” said IFSA Executive Director Philip Zaleski.

“Be Alarmed!” is a fire safety education and smoke alarm installation program administered between the OSFM and IFSA. The program distributes fire safety education materials and 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms to fire departments in the state of Illinois. The fire departments then deliver the education while installing smoke alarms in at-risk homes within their communities. Both the educational materials and smoke alarms are provided at no cost as a result of funding from both the IFSA and OSFM.

If your department is interested in participating in this program you can visit Be Alarmed!