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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2009 Media Releases

September 11, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Jon Carlson, Stronger Safer Neighborhoods, 441-7224
Brian Baker, Safe Kids Lincoln-Lancaster County, 441-8046
Jeff Hatcher, Lincoln Fire & Rescue, 770-5011

Smoke Alarm Rally Set For September 19

Mayor Chris Beutler today urged residents who live in the neighborhood surrounding Everett Elementary School to welcome volunteers who will install free smoke alarms Saturday, September 19 during the first Lincoln Smoke Alarm Rally.

From 8 a.m. to noon that day, volunteers will canvass the neighborhood, knock on doors and offer to install free smoke alarms. They will work with trained personnel from Lincoln Fire & Rescue, the American Red Cross and other health and safety organizations. Organizers hope to install 500 dual-detection smoke alarms, each equipped with a 10-year battery. The targeted area, bounded by Washington, "F", 10th and 14th streets, was identified by the Fire Department as having a higher than average rate of residential fires.

Fire is the second leading cause of accidental death to children in Nebraska," said Mayor Beutler. "Having properly working smoke alarms is the number one strategy for fire injury prevention because they do save lives. More than 80 percent of fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarm or a non-functioning alarm. That kind of statistic can't be ignored.

Safe Kids of Lincoln-Lancaster County has teamed up with Lincoln Fire & Rescue to organize the rally, modeled after a successful program in Phoenix, Arizona.

I appreciate all the volunteers and sponsors who have come together to protect children, their families and their homes from fire," said Mayor Beutler. "This kind of community partnership is exactly what our Stronger Safer Neighborhoods Initiative is all about. Efforts like this do make a difference in keeping Lincoln a safe place to live, work and raise a family.

Jon Carlson of the Stronger Safer Neighborhoods Initiative, said the City has been investing resources in Everett and surrounding neighborhoods for the past year as part of a larger effort to revitalize neighborhoods and increase safety. Safe Kids Lincoln-Lancaster County, a coalition dedicated to preventing childhood injury, is a leading partner in the safety efforts.

Safe Kids is a program that focuses on a wide-range of injury prevention programs for children," said Steve Beal, Assistant Health Director, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. "To do that, we bring together State and local agencies, medical providers, service groups, businesses, schools and others in the community. We believe events like the Smoke Alarm Rally provide a great opportunity to educate residents, provide prevention resources and increase the health of the community.

Volunteers age 18 and older are still needed to help install the smoke alarms, which were donated by Wal-Mart Stores of Lincoln. Those who are 16 and 17 years old can participate if accompanied by a parent or guardian. No experience is necessary. Organizers are especially in need of Spanish-speaking volunteers. Those wishing to help can contact Julie Anderson at 441-8071 or show up at Everett Elementary School, 1123 "C" St., at 8 a.m. Saturday, September 19.

Other community groups and sponsors involved in the rally include Allied Insurance Company; American Red Cross Cornhusker Chapter; the Center for People in Need; Continental Western;Lincoln Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 644; the Real Estate Owners and Managers Association; Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center Burn Unit; Southeast Community College Fire Protection and Technology Department; Union Bank & Trust; and United Rentals.

Additional information is available on the City Web site at (keyword: smoke alarm).

Fires types of calls 2007 1 MB

This map shows GIS (Geographical Information System) information that is interfaced with Lincoln Fire and Rescue Data showing certain fire call types in the city for 2007. This is part of the information our committee used to develop our targeted area for the Smoke Alarm Rally effort.

When you look at the map keep in mind that each red dot represents a potential threat to the lives of many citizens of this great city and is only a visual representation of the actual risk. When you see the big red blotch in the center be reminded that many of the lives that it represents will be touched with the life saving effort of this project.

Update on September 19, 2009

Close to 150 Volunteers representing Safe Kids Lincoln Lancaster County lead by Fire Captain Jeff Hatcher from Lincoln Fire and Rescue installed 390 dual detection 10 year battery operated Smoke alarms in an area on the south side of of Lincoln this morning at Lincolns first Smoke Alarm Rally. In less than 3 hours over 1,000 front doors to homes and apartments were knocked on in this effort in an area bounded by 10th to 14th, F street to Washington. This area of town has been identified by data from Lincoln Fire and Rescue and the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department as having a increased level of fire and fire injury activity. "People living in this area of town are at a greater risk and deserve a higher level of protection said Hatcher. This program is designed to do just that. and after today 1/3 of the living units in this area now have that added protection.

Most of the homes in this part of the city are apartments. Residents were given pamphlets, offered in multiple languages, on apartment fire safety and home fire escape planning. Translators for multiple languages were also on site to offer assistance with language barriers. "This was a successful event" said Brian Baker from Safe Kids LLC. " Our volunteers were tireless, they just kept coming back, asking for more alarms to install." "We plan on making this an annual event" Said Baker."

Thank you

Jeff Hatcher
Fire Captain
Lincoln Fire and Rescue

Mayor's Office
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