Half of all home-heating fires happen during the winter months, and lower-income families are at higher risk for those fires, since some cannot afford smoke alarms.
Friday, the Dryer Vent Wizard of Northern Nevada donated a $500 grant to the Reno Fire Department. That donation money will be used to buy 100 smoke alarms for needy families.
This donation comes after the Stardust apartment fire earlier this month, which claimed the lives of two people and one pet. Tray Palmer, Fire Marshal for the Reno Fire Department explains one of the contributing factors, "Where the fire occurred, in the sleeping room, the smoke alarm was not working properly."
Unfortunately, Palmer says, fire departments across Sparks, Reno and Truckee Meadows have all had fatalities from home fires this year. Out-of-service smoke alarms were the common denominator.
Roughly 70% of home fire fatalities happen in homes with no smoke alarms or alarms that don't work. Detecting smoke is crucial and could be a life-saving measure.
Home fires typically happen during the middle of the night. That's why it's important to have a working smoke alarm in each sleeping room.
For families who are at higher risk, like those in need, the Reno Fire Department offers the alarms for free.
Inspired by their generosity, Jeff Knudtzon, owner of the Dryer Vent Wizard of Northern Nevada, decided to give the department a donation.
If you're in need of a free smoke alarm, you can drop by the Reno Fire Department to pick one up.
Sparks Fire Department also offers free smoke alarm installations through their program, "Project Safe." Since 2010, they have helped families in more than 1,200 homes live fire-safe.
By Elizabeth Olveda
Watch the news story here!