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Alarm Install Guide


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Alarm Install Guide

  1. 1. lan ning & Implement P in g Smoke Ala aS rm Ins uc ces tal sful lati on P rogram
  2. 2. Smoke Alarm A Safer Community—For Everyone Statistics After a tragic fire, communities often come together to address fire safety. But what if there was a way for communities to work together before a fire broke out, to help save property and lives before they were lost? • Smoke alarms are the A smoke alarm installation program in your community can make a measurable residential fire safety difference in reducing deaths and injuries in a fire. Smoke alarms are the life- saving success story of the past 30 years. Roughly 70 percent of home fire success story of the past deaths in the United States result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no quarter century. working smoke alarms. Installing Safety • Each year, roughly 70 percent The approach to an installation program is simple: fire safety advocates in your of home fire deaths result community—from firefighters and safety educators to business leaders and representatives of older adult or health groups—team up to install smoke alarms. from fires in homes with no Your installation program can be broad, targeting an entire community, or very smoke alarms or no working focused, reaching out to a core group of vulnerable citizens. smoke alarms. However you choose to go about it, by installing smoke alarms in homes, you’ll be doing your part to make residents and your entire community much safer. • Homes with smoke alarms From Start to Finish (whether or not they are To help you plan and implement your own operational) typically have a smoke alarm installation program, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) death rate that is 40 to 50 has developed this comprehensive guide. percent less than the rate for In it, you’ll find everything you need to get started, from tips on how to select and train homes without alarms. volunteers, to pointers on soliciting donations and publicizing your program. • If every home had working In putting together this guide, we’ve relied on the experts: safety advocates from across smoke alarms, U.S. home the country who’ve conducted their own fire deaths would decrease successful smoke alarm installation programs. From urban areas, to sprawling suburbs, to by an estimated 36 percent, rural hamlets, our experts have helped to get resulting in an estimated smoke alarms installed just about everywhere. Chances are, there is a community mentioned in these pages that isn’t that different from your own. 1,120 lives saved per year. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started! • Smoke alarms fail most of Note: Smoke alarm installation programs, in which firefighters and trained volunteers install smoke alarms and batteries, are not the same as smoke alarm the time because of missing, giveaway projects. Experts warn that simply giving residents alarms does not disconnected or dead ensure that they will be installed correctly, if at all. batteries. 1
  3. 3. The Mississippi Project Yazoo City In 2002, a home fire in Tchula, MS, claimed the lives of six children. Since then, local leaders and the Mississippi High-Risk Fire Safety Task Force have been working with national safety organizations, including NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration, to keep such a tragedy from happening again. Their goal: to get working smoke alarms installed in every home in Holmes County–where Tchula is located–one of the most impoverished counties On October 21, 2004, three adults in the nation. It was a monumental and three children, ages 9 to 15, task. Firefighters and volunteers have safely escaped a fire in their home installed 8,700 smoke alarms, with in Yazoo City, MS. Firefighters say 10-year lithium batteries, in homes that a smoke alarm installation throughout the county. project, spearheaded by NFPA, was responsible for the successful For coordinator Margaret Wilson escape. and her team of volunteers from the community and the Holmes County fire In 2003, after five children died in departments, making sure that local residents get a home fire in Yazoo City, the NFPA the message has required phone calls, home visits, community meetings and Center for High-Risk Outreach a whole lot of shoe leather. They have also publicized the installation project in donated 3,000, 10-year battery local newspapers and television stations and by distributing brochures through smoke alarms to the city, as well area churches. as drills, ladders, and educational materials. Also, First Alert home “We’re doing it street by street, going house to house,” says Wilson. “For people safety products company donated who aren’t home, we leave a flier telling them to call us if they need an alarm or 250 alarms and the Mississippi if they need the batteries changed. A lot of people think that it’s enough to have Department of Health donated 300. the smoke alarms in their home, but they need to check to make sure that they work.” Fire Marshal James Jackson says that by the time he and his While installing 8,700 alarms may seem like a tall task, Wilson insists that the volunteers are done, they will have key to an efficient and effective installation program is good, reliable volunteers, installed 3,550 alarms. Every home no matter how many alarms you are seeking to install. “Make sure you have in Yazoo City will have smoke alarm some good volunteers who are dedicated and get the job done,” she says. coverage. To get the word out about the program, the fire department has run announcements on local radio stations and in the newspaper. One key to the program’s success: a visible presence by the fire department. “When we go out, we take a fire truck. If folks see a fire truck, they’ll let you in,” says Jackson. 2
  4. 4. Keys to Step One: Organize a Planning Committee Success A successful smoke alarm installation requires more than just installing smoke alarms. The key to a well-run program is advanced planning and a steering Spotlight: Fire committee that has leaders from throughout the community. Department Participation Start by identifying organizations that should From big cities to small towns, be part of your planning team. You’ll probably organizers of successful smoke want to start with representatives of the local alarm installation projects can fire department, including the local fire chief, agree on one thing: fire department head of the firefighters union, or the leader of the volunteer firefighter association. You’ll participation is key to an effective also want to involve local safety advocates, campaign. “People associate smoke community organizations and businesses. alarms with fire departments,” Remember, the more diverse the group of says Mark Jackson, a public health institutions you include in the planning process, the better chance you’ll have of advisor for the Centers for Disease reaching local residents and conducting a successful installation project. Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Here’s who you should think about involving—and how they can make your GA, who administers a program that program a success: has funded 16 states to do smoke alarm installation and education. Local fire department or firefighters union They are the first link to fire safety in the community. “Partnering with the fire department gives credibility to an installation Businesses, including retail outlets program and that uniform is often From big home improvement stores to small local outfits, businesses are often what gets people into the homes,” willing to donate supplies, including smoke alarms, batteries, ladders and drills. says Jackson. Local chapters of service clubs Service clubs such as Rotary International, The Lions Clubs International, 100 Black Men of America, The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, The Elks Club and Kiwanis International, can be a key source of volunteers and often have connections with local businesses. Older adult organizations Older residents are among the most vulnerable to fire death. Organizations that service this population can help you reach them. Health and safety agencies and organizations Fire prevention is a key issue for organizations and agencies that work on health and safety issues. Faith-based institutions Local houses of worship can help you get the word out about your smoke alarm installation project. Electricians or members of an electricians’ union Their labor can be key (and they may be willing to donate it), especially if you are installing alarms that must be hardwired. 3
  5. 5. Step Two: Identify Your Target Population Keys You’ve decided that you want to conduct a smoke alarm installation program. You’ve even begun to assemble your planning committee. But what kinds of to Success residents are you going to target? Spotlight: Know Your Community While organizers of smoke alarm programs, like the The people behind successful one in Holmes County, MS, set an ambitious smoke alarm installation goal of installing alarms in every home, programs share one many other communities have successfully very important trait: conducted installation campaigns that take No matter where a far more limited approach. Some choose they live, they homes within a single census tract, while are extremely others identify a particularly vulnerable knowledgeable population, then try to reach them block about the by block. communities in The scope of your installation program will which they reside be determined by the resources available and work. And if to you and the nature of the community there is something in which you live. Answering the following they don’t know, questions will help you to take the next steps they know how to toward planning and implementing a successful find the information. campaign. When the SAFE KIDS Coalition of Southeastern • How would you characterize the size and population Pennsylvania was preparing to demographics of your community? launch an ambitious installation • Are there neighborhoods in your area that have experienced many fire deaths or and education program in an have the most fire runs? (Note: the local fire department will know the answer to impoverished Philadelphia this question.) neighborhood, they knew that they couldn’t move forward without • What are the high-risk populations in your area? answering a basic question: Did • What kinds of resources are available to you to conduct an installation residents of the neighborhood trust campaign? the fire department? To answer that question, SAFE KIDS, which spearheaded the program along with the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, held two sets of focus groups in the neighborhood. “We needed to know what the best vehicle was for getting into these homes,” says Gina Duchossois, chair of the coalition. “This was going to be a two-year project for us and we wanted to make sure that we had the right information.” 4
  6. 6. Keys to Step Three: Identify High-Risk Residents Success in Your Community NFPA research consistently shows that certain populations are particularly Spotlight: Answering a vulnerable to fire-related deaths and injuries. By targeting these populations in Wake-Up Call your smoke alarm installation efforts, you’ll be striking a significant blow against Fire safety advocates in Plano, the risk of death and harm from fire. These at-risk groups include: TX, didn’t need to do research to • Young children determine which of their town’s residents were vulnerable to fire • Older adults death. In 2003, after 22 years • People with disabilities without a fire death, this town of 240,000 lost two elderly people • Low-income communities, communities with many recent in home fires. While the fire immigrants from non-English speaking countries department had been conducting • Residents of homes with security bars smoke alarm installations since 1996, the tragic deaths spurred But the home of a vulnerable individual, or even an entire at-risk neighborhood, a new effort to reach out to older never exists in isolation, notes safety advocate Sharron Beals, the executive adults, particularly those living director of Beechwood on the Bay, a nonprofit agency in Quincy, MA, that serves alone. young children and older adults. “A community is at risk if it has vulnerable homes and those tend to be the homes of seniors,” says Beals, who helps In the past, notes fire safety coordinate a smoke alarm installation program for adults 75 and older. “If your education coordinator Peggy Harrell, neighbor is elderly and can’t fire department representatives get up on a ladder to check and volunteers have targeted single the battery in his alarm, family residences. “But both of our then you’re at risk too. fire deaths were in apartments, so When you have vulnerable we’re really focusing on how we can residents, you have a reach out to apartment dwellers.” vulnerable community.” Now, in addition to installing smoke alarms in targeted neighborhoods three times a year, volunteers are also visiting apartment complexes, leaving behind door hangers and newsletters emblazoned with a simple message: Make sure that your apartment has a working smoke alarm. “I leave my phone number behind too,” says Harrell. “That way, they can call me with any questions.” 5
  7. 7. Step Four: Solicit Financial Support Keys to and Donations Success You’ve got your plan, and you’ve assembled a group of experts to help you Spotlight: Business to the implement it. But you’re still missing an essential component: supplies, including Rescue smoke alarms, batteries, ladders, drills and other equipment. When fire inspector Cindy Kettering of the Bend, OR, fire department While some fire departments and safety organizations rely on grants from got a call from a local resident in national organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, need of a special smoke alarm for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NFPA to fund their smoke the hearing impaired, she knew alarm installation programs, many communities conduct their campaigns using just what to do: She contacted equipment and labor that’s donated locally. Donations solicited from area Gentex, Inc., a manufacturer of fire businesses can significantly defray the cost of your installation program. protection equipment, including But how to begin? You should start by identifying businesses —either national smoke alarms that utilize visual corporations with an outlet in your area, or home-grown companies— or signals. “They donated $5,000 institutions that might have an interest in fire prevention. Even businesses that worth of alarms, enabling us to would seem to have little to do with safety often share an interest in supporting expand our smoke alarm program initiatives that work to make their community safer. These could include: to include services to Bend’s hearing impaired residents,” says • Stores that sell smoke alarms or batteries Kettering. It’s far from the first Including Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, True Value and other hardware, time that she has approached home improvement and retail outlets. businesses—both local and national—about supporting Bend’s smoke alarm installation • Insurance companies with offices in your area program. In recent years, she has Ask them to consider making a donation to support the program. secured donations from companies including Lowe’s, The Home • Hospitals or other healthcare organizations Depot, Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer Supporting a smoke alarm installation program complements their community and Costco. What’s the trick to a health mission. successful solicitation? “Try to get a face-to-face meeting with store • Printing presses or copy shops management as a way to introduce Approach them about donating the printing of promotional materials. yourself. Just say ‘Hey, I’m in the community.’ That’s how you begin • Restaurants or grocery stores to cultivate that good relationship,” They may be interested in donating food to feed hungry volunteers. says Kettering. “And don’t forget to send a thank you letter.” 6
  8. 8. Keys Sample Letter to Area Businesses to Success Send this letter to area businesses months before you plan to conduct your smoke alarm installation. Spotlight: Rural Installation Programs Dear (Nam Conducting a smoke alarm e of Store Manager) installation program in a rural : The comm area presents a unique set of itment of (NAME O of this, th F STORE) challenges. Paying repeat visits e (Town/C to public ity) Fire D safety is w like to inv epartmen ell known to residents who live in isolated ite you to t and (NA . Because support o ME OF O areas, for example, is much more are the m ur smoke RGANIZA ost effecti alarm ins TION) wo ve tool we tallation p uld time consuming than returning City) resid have to p roject. Sm ents don’t revent de oke alarm have work aths from s to a densely populated urban (NAME O ing alarm fire, but m F STORE), s in their any (Town neighborhood. “Once you get we’ll be a homes. W / ble to rea ith the su outside of the city limits, it’s just There are ch more lo pport of many wa cal reside ys that yo nts than e not realistic,” says Steve Davidson, program, ur (NAME ver. including ) store ca program administrator for the donating n support contributi smoke ala this life-s on, or by rms and b aving Office of Injury Prevention in the letting yo atteries, m hope that ur custom aking a fi Georgia Division of Public Health. you’ll con ers know nancial sider part about the a success nering wit installatio Instead, firefighters and fire safety . h us to m n campaig ake this e n. I advocates in Davidson’s neck of ssential s In return, afety prog we will re ram the woods leave door hangers at cognize th how you e support houses where no one is home, plan to pro of (STORE mote the NAME) b and rely on a tight network of business’s y (Clearly I will follo involveme explain w up with nt in your neighbors and friends to spread you next campaign ways that week, and .) the word about the installation we can w look forw ork togeth ard to spe be reache er to incre aking with effort. “The good part about d at (pho ase fire sa you abou ne numbe fety in (To t living in a rural area is that considera r) if you h wn/City). tion. ave any q I can uestions. people tend to know each Thank yo Sincerely, u for your other and you get very few refusals,” says Davidson. He notes that rural Georgia (Your Nam is often referred to as the e) “Burn Belt” due to its (Title) high percentage of old (Town/Cit y) Fire De partment and highly combustible Or Organiz ation dwellings. Thanks to the efforts of Davidson and other safety advocates, however, rural Georgians are increasingly likely to escape from home fires safely. Davidson’s office currently oversees 25 smoke alarm installation programs across the state. “In the past three years, we’ve had 70 saves.” 7
  9. 9. Step Five: Get the Word Out About Your Program Keys to You know the story about the tree that fell in the forest, but there being no one there to hear it? The same rule applies to public safety initiatives. An effective Success smoke alarm installation program depends on a successful publicity strategy. Spotlight: Life-Saving Publicity Getting the word out about your campaign will inform local residents that you’re going to be in their neighborhood, and get people talking about smoke alarms and When Battalion Chief John Flahie fire safety. of the Moab Valley Fire Protection District in Moab, UT, wanted to Contacting the local media is one way to generate publicity for your installation get fliers about a smoke alarm program (We’ve included a sample press release that you can customize and send installation program into the hands out to newspapers, television and radio stations in your area). of residents, he started with local But there are other ways to spread the word as well. Here’s a look: social service agencies. “They were best able to identify their clients,” Let them know you’re coming says Flahie. “I supplied the fliers If you plan to be in a particular neighborhood on a scheduled day, let residents and they handed them out. Then know in advance. Leave door hangers or post handbills on telephone poles in the it was up to the client to contact targeted area. us.” The result: The Moab Fire Department had more requests than Work through the schools alarms. Flahie also runs ads on the radio and television and in print One way to contact parents in a targeted area is to get materials into the hands about his smoke alarm installation of their children through teachers who are fire safety advocates. Look for teachers program, but has found that working who are part of NFPA’s Risk Watch® and the Learn Not to Burn® programs, or with aid agencies has been key in who regularly participate in Fire Prevention Week activities. reaching Moab’s large population of seasonal workers. “This is a boom Reach people where they are and bust economy. We have a lot of If you plan to target a particular population—say, older adults—identify places people who are just scraping by and that cater to them and ask about handing out your materials there. NFPA’s if we can let them know that we’re Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults™ offering free smoke alarms, they’re includes a smoke alarm installation component. going to take advantage of it.” Leave a calling card If you miss residents in a targeted area, don’t give up. Leave a door hanger to let them know that you’ve stopped by. Give residents the option of calling a contact in the fire department to have an alarm installed at a later date. 8
  10. 10. Training Tips Sample Door Hanger Door hangers are a great way to let residents know that Know where to install smoke you’re planning to be in the area to install smoke alarms. alarms And if you miss a resident, especially in rural areas where A successful installation program the distance between homes can make involves making sure that alarms are multiple visits unrealistic, door hangers installed correctly—and in the right are a convenient reminder that a smoke We Missed locations. alarm installation program is under ry Sor way. You also have the option of Y ou ! • Install smoke alarms on every allowing residents to contact you at level of the home, including the their convenience to schedule an basement, making sure that there installation appointment. is an alarm outside every separate We wer What does a door hanger look e in yo sleeping area. today f ur neig or a “S hb like? Here’s an example, provided Drive” moke A orhood and ha larm • In addition to installing alarms on or chec ve inst by Capt. Michael McLemore of ke alled a every level and outside the sleeping of man d alarms in t nd/ the Sugar Land Fire Department yo he hom Sugar L f your neigh es areas, it’s a good idea to install an bo in Sugar Land, TX. has pro d Fire Depar rs. vi tment smoke alarms in all bedrooms. for the ded this FRE past 10 E servi years! ce • For manufactured (mobile) homes, The fir efighte L and w rs o install a smoke alarm outside of ould lik f Sugar family e to he each sleeping area and inside of sta lp y increas y safe. One w our e safety ay each bedroom. that ho is by en to mes ha suring numbe ve an a • If someone in the home is deaf or r of sm dequat proper oke ala e locatio rms in hard of hearing, consider installing alarms n and t the are fun ha an alarm that combines flashing ctionin t those Smoke g. lights, vibration and/or sound. alarm i home i nstalla ns tions a of the n pections are nd on-eme ju • Mount smoke alarms high on offered rgency st two by the s walls or ceilings (remember, smoke Depart Sugar L ervices ment. and Fir rises). Ceiling mounted alarms e Appoin should be installed at least four tments by calli can be ng the schedu Public le inches away from the nearest wall; Progra m Offic Educat d 0000. T e at 00 ion wall-mounted alarms should be here is 0-000- these s no cha installed four to 12 inches away ervices rge for . from the ceiling. Fire S afe Su A Com gar La munit nd • If you have ceilings that are y Fire Safety pitched, install the alarm near the Progra m ceiling’s highest point. • Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation. • Smoke alarms should not be installed in kitchens, bathrooms or garages. 9
  11. 11. Sample Press Release Keys to Send this release out at least two weeks before you plan to conduct your smoke alarm installation. Success Spotlight: Choose Volunteers Carefully r) onth/Date/Yea For release on: (M ame) Fire safety advocate tact: (Your N rmation, con Sharron Beals hopes that For more info ) one number however you recruit your (Your teleph volunteers, you’ll do so ity) rms (Your Town/C ons to In stall Smoke Ala with an eye toward the y/) and Comm unity Organizati ghters from (Your safety of the people (Your Town/Cit fire preventio n effort, firefi sidents on munity-wide ations) will vi sit local re you’re ultimately art of a com g (Your Tow n/City)– As p icip ating Organiz ies and installin serving. “We’re trying bers of (Part placing batter ent) and mem spections, re Fire Departm oke alarm in to ensure senior form free sm (Month, Date) to per safety,” says Beals, . , including s as needed lo cal residents smoke alarm reach out to eaths. executive director of f an effort to able to fire d ign is part o ho are vulner ity) campa borhoods, w ave them will Beechwood on the The (Town/C ents of neigh who don’t h ng peo ple and resid it y) residents Bay in Quincy, MA. seniors, you es of (Town/C oke alarm s in the hom “You don’t want Installing sm . g a home fire l nonprofit r od ds of survivin internationa to end up making increase thei (NFPA), the Association n 80 years, Fir e Protection eek for more tha their vulnerability the National revention W es with no According to l spon sor of Fire P fires in hom te and officia y result from effective earl y aware to the wrong safety advoca in the countr m e fire deaths s are the most people.” She ercent of ho “Smoke alarm Center for roughly 70 p oke alarms. tor of NFPA’s s or no work ing sm ecutive direc dying urges planning smoke alarm Gamache, ex ur chance of says Sharon h ome cuts yo ice there is,” larm in your committee warning dev g a smoke a utreach . “Just havin members to High-Risk O ,” says (Your rly in half.” smoke alarm know who their in a fire nea tection of a re death, residents have the pro won’t pre vent ever y fi volunteers are to make sure alarms alone they know “Our goal is “B ecause smoke es cape plan so and to make rganization). a home fire N ame, Title, O ting resi dents to have sure that they’re cludes educa our project in larm sounds.” nit y volunteers adequately the smoke a and commu what to do if rogram, loca l firefighters Residents borhoods). supervised installation p wns or neigh smoke alarm ting residen ts in (List to nding for the During the the area, visi ber). Local fu during the me) at (Num will fa n out through sh ould call (Na installation a home visit . to schedule local funders) who wish ded by (List says Judy Co moletti, portion of am was provi of minutes,” inst allation progr e in a matter nce warning the project. rough a hom why the adva and spread th tion. “That’s in th is Beals’s group “Fire can gro w public educa articipating tant vice president for g lives. By p a t local NFPA’s assis al to savin to ensure th uses off-duty n be essenti t) is helping sm oke alarms ca ir e Departmen firefighters provided by tion, (Your F oke alarm installa community sm homes.” and the safer in their residents are local Rotary group as its resource (Beals is a member). “It could be another group, but the key is that you have a group with knowledge of the members it’s supplying and a level of accountability.” 10
  12. 12. Keys to Step 6: Recruit Volunteers Success Your ability to recruit and provide training to volunteers will play a big part in determining just how successful your smoke alarm installation project is. The more volunteers you have, the more houses your team members will Spotlight: Partnerships be able to visit. And while numbers are important, quality is key as well. When it comes to getting smoke You’ll be visiting the homes of some of the more vulnerable members of your alarms into the homes of vulnerable community. You’ll want to make absolutely sure that the volunteers you recruit are both trustworthy and accountable. older adults, the state of Virginia is tops. Since 2000, state agencies First of all, you’ll need to develop a strategy for recruiting volunteers. Here are and fire prevention groups have some tips: installed more than 3,800 smoke alarms, and provided NFPA’s Fire department first Target the community Remembering When: A Fire and As we’ve stressed throughout this Very likely, there are groups in your Fall Prevention Program for Older guide, fire department participation is community that share your mission of AdultsTM to more than 6,500 older essential to an effective smoke alarm fire safety and prevention, but aren’t adults. What’s Virginia’s secret? A installation project. Depending on the involved in the actual planning of the unique partnership with so-called department’s level of commitment, event. Supplying volunteers to help with AAAs, or Area Agencies on Aging. the fire chief may be willing to the installation of smoke alarms is a assign on-duty firefighters to the task relatively easy way for these groups to A statewide program called Get (Of course, be prepared for them support your efforts. Alarmed Virginia, now funded by to leave quickly in the event of an the Virginia Department of Health, emergency). Off-duty firefighters can is conducted through nine different Branch out—with care also be called on to help. AAAs. “They are providing services With the proper training, all sorts of people can serve as volunteers on your at the local level, so they’re able to Start with your planning installation team. Installation campaigns reach a huge number of seniors in committee across the country have circulated the state,” explains Carol Cooper Groups involved in planning your their appeals for volunteers via radio, Driskill, a program director with the smoke alarm installation project are television, even light posts. Virginia Department of Aging. “In a good source of volunteers, from turn, the agencies are partnering the staff members of health and with their local fire departments. It’s safety organizations to members been wonderful.” of local chapters of service organizations such as The Lions Clubs International and Rotary To order a Remembering International. When program or supporting brochures go to 11
  13. 13. Step 7: Provide Your Volunteers with the Necessary Smoke Alarms with Special Features Training, Tools and Materials Many smoke alarm models now You’ve assembled enough volunteers to fan out across the area you’ve chosen to come equipped with enhanced check smoke alarms, install new ones and replace batteries as needed. So how do features so that they can be more you make sure that your volunteer force is up to the task? Simple: train them. You’ll easily tested, even by people with want to ensure that your helpers understand how to install smoke alarms correctly vision and hearing problems. and can speak about the purpose of the program and about fire safety in general. Escape Light: When the smoke alarm sounds, an escape light is Installation 101 your volunteers, their ‘people skills’ are key as well. Do role-playing also activated, helping you to exit Thanks to enhanced features, testing activities to make sure that they can the area. your smoke alarm to ensure that it works can be as easy as using a explain the program in a friendly and Alarms with Strobe Lights: Some TV remote control. And thanks to knowledgeable way. alarms come equipped with strobe advanced warning systems, alarms lights to alert people who are deaf or are more easily seen or heard, even Have materials ready hard of hearing. Chances are, you’ll want to have by people with vision and hearing problems. Most successful campaigns some materials to distribute to the Lithium Batteries and 10-Year recommend conducting a thorough residents of the homes you’re visiting. Power Cells: Alarms that use Many of these are available online these power sources can operate for training session before the big day. at Under ‘Research up to 10 years without requiring a The top lesson on the agenda: how to & Reports’ navigation bar, click on change of battery. install a smoke alarm. To make sure ‘Fact Sheets’ and then ‘Fire Prevention your training covers the basics, follow Equipment’. Make sure you have Combination Alarms: A smoke the suggested Installation Training alarm and carbon monoxide alarm brochures, fact sheets and home fire Agenda on page 17. are in one unit. Make sure to note escape plans ready before the big day. the difference between the sound of Firefighters lead the way Ask firefighters to help you conduct Tools for success each alarm. Whether you end up with donated Remote-Controlled Testing the training. Have them break down alarms and batteries, or purchase Buttons: No need to climb up the installation process into simple them yourself, you’ll need to divide on a ladder—smoke alarms with steps that can be easily replicated. them among your volunteers when this feature allow you to use most Training volunteers to lead installation day finally arrives. In standard TV/VCR remote controls to If you are relying on on-duty addition, you may also want to test your smoke alarm. firefighters to lead the installation consider supplying your volunteers teams, be sure you’re prepared in with the following: Hush Buttons: This feature allows you to temporarily silence the smoke the event of an emergency (one that • Cordless drills and screwdrivers alarm in the event of a “nuisance” requires them to leave the installation • Safety goggles alarm (cooking smoke that is not project to do what they do best: fight • Safety step stools fire-related, for example). Depressing fires). You’ll want to make sure that • Liability release forms the hush button automatically your volunteers can step up to (see page 13) switches the alarm to a reduced the challenge if there are no sensitivity condition for a limited firefighters present. • Installation survey period of time. If a real fire occurs, forms (see page 14) Role-play the day and the quantity of smoke reaching While you’ll want to the smoke alarm is sufficient, the check on the knowledge alarm will sound. and installation skills of 12
  14. 14. Installation Sample Waiver Form Waiver Sample waiver form for smoke alarm installation program* Before your team members actually install a smoke alarm in a particular household, they’ll need to get the resident’s signature on the following waiver. By signing the waiver, the resident agrees not to sue the fire department, the city or town, or other organizations involved in the smoke alarm installation program in the event that the smoke alarm fails to work properly. 13
  15. 15. Survey Form for Smoke Alarm List of service Installation Program organizations Your volunteers will need some means of keeping track of the work they’ve Service organizations are a great done. This installation survey from NFPA will allow them to record important source of volunteers. Here’s a list of some of the better known clubs, and information about the residence they’ve visited, as well as the number of alarms their national offices. Contact them they’ve installed or batteries they’ve replaced. to identify a branch near you. The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. 90 William Street, Suite 200 New York, NY 10038 FIRE Ac Smoke A larm Insta t Grant 212.951.8300 1. Date: llation Su rvey Form 11. Was the each slee re a smoke alarm 100 Black Men of America ping area outside 141 Auburn Avenue 2. Installe �Yes � ? r’s Name No : Atlanta, GA 30303 12. How many sm (404) 688-5100 test? oke alarm s did you 3. Occup �zero � ant’s Nam one �tw e: o �three or more Benevolent & Protective 13. How How ma 4. Street �zero � many ala rms did n ny ___ Order of the Elks of the USA Address: one �tw ot w o �three ork? 2750 N. Lakeview Avenue or more 14. If smo ke alarms How many ___ Chicago, IL 60614-1889 please in did not w (773) 755-4700 dic ork the follow ate how many ala , ing proble rms had �battery m was disco (s): �battery nn was dead ected________ Fraternal Order of Eagles �battery ________ wa __ 5. Town: �other (s s missing______ _____ 1623 Gateway Circle S. pecify)__ _ ________ ______ Grove City, OH 43123 _______ 15. How (614) 883-2200 many sm more tha oke alarm n1 s were 6. Type o �zero � 0 years old? f Residen one �tw �one fam ce: o �three ily �2-fa or m Kiwanis International �apartm m ent �ma ily (duplex)� 16. How m How man ore any batte y ___ nufacture d home replace? ries did y ou 3636 Woodview Trace (mobile h ome) �zero � one �tw Indianapolis, IN 46268-3196 7. Numbe o �three (317) 875-8755 r of levels or m �one � two �thre in the hom e How man ore e or more : y ___ 17. How m How man any new y ___ you insta smoke ala ll? rms did Knights of Columbus Headquarters 8.How ma �zero � ny smoke one �tw in the hom e alarms w ere o �three or more 1 Columbus Plaza alarms? (I before you installe 18. What f zero, ple d new safety info How many ___ New Haven, CT 06510 Question ase skip leave with rmation d (203) 752-4000 16 to th id �zero � .) Please sp e home’s occupa you one �tw o �three ________ ecify:___ ________ t? n or more __ ___ 9. Was th ________ ______________ _____ ere at lea How many ___ ________ __ Lions Clubs International on every st one sm oke alarm ________ _____ lev _______ �Yes � el of the home? 19. Did y Headquarters No ou help o ways out ccupant fi 300 W 22nd St. of nd two 10. If “no ”, which le �Yes � every room? Oak Brook IL 60523-8842 No smoke ala vel(s) did rm not have (630) 571-5466 �baseme ? a 20. Did you help nt �first occ �other (s floor �se pecify)__ cond floo outside meeting p upant select an ________ r �Yes lace? ________ �No Rotary International One Rotary Center 1560 Sherman Ave. 10/19/04 Evanston, IL 60201 (847) 866-3000 14
  16. 16. Training Tips Step 8: Be Prepared for Challenges— Tools for Volunteers and Know How to Overcome Them Smoke Alarms: Be sure to use Sometimes, even the best-laid plans fail to come off, and a smoke alarm smoke alarms that bear the label installation program is no exception. From recruiting volunteers to reaching out to of an independent testing agency. the residents you want to serve, you may encounter difficulties along the way. To When distributing alarms to the installers, be sure to keep track help you overcome these bumps in the road, we’ve asked some campaign experts of the number of alarms given to to tell us about the hurdles that they encountered, and how they overcame them. each volunteer. The installer must complete surveys to account for every alarm. Additional alarms Problem: Too Few Volunteers should not be given to the installer When Cackie Joyner, training coordinator for the Occupational and Environmental until all alarms are accounted for. Safety Office at Duke University, set out to help plan Durham, NC’s first ever Survey & Waiver Forms: Provide smoke alarm installation, she had an ambitious plan to recruit more than 100 forms for volunteers to complete when volunteers. But while her efforts garnered tons of local publicity, she had trouble they visit a home. Provide installers getting people to make a commitment. And on the big day: disaster. Many with pens and a clipboard to make it volunteers who’d signed up to participate didn’t show at all. “The volunteers were easier to complete the forms. supposed to come to a big festival we were putting on that day and have lunch. Identification: All volunteers should We were kind of surprised at how many didn’t show up.” In the end, Joyner be able to identify themselves. and her team went to Plan B: They brought fire trucks into designated areas Consider using badges, T-shirts, and had volunteers and firefighters canvas the neighborhoods. “It worked,” says jackets, or hats to identify your Joyner. “But it would have been more fun for me if there had been hundreds of volunteers. Inform residents thousands of volunteers!” requesting an installation/inspection that they should ask to see the credentials of the installer. Problem: Trouble Reaching Designated Recipients Drill: If possible, have cordless drills The Camden-Gloucester County SAFE KIDS Coalition in southern New Jersey had and screwdrivers available on a loan a plan. With the help of a grant, the group identified 145 children in Camden basis for volunteers. Teach installers who were both low-income, and suffered from moderate to profound hearing how to operate the drill. Be sure loss, then offered to provide each family with specially designed smoke alarms to recharge the drills according to manufacturer’s instructions. for the hearing impaired and install them free of charge. But to the frustration of coordinator Valerie Chapman, the group had trouble reaching the people they’d Drill Bits: Extra drill bits should be hoped to help. “The population wasn’t responsive. Even when we went through provided with the drill. the schools, we didn’t get a response, or the families wouldn’t agree.” The Safety Ladder: If possible, loan a solution: Organizers ultimately relaxed their criteria in order to boost the number safety ladder for the installer to use. of participants in the program. “We ended up opening it up to anyone who met the hearing impairment part,” says Chapman. Dry Wall Screws: Screws designed to be used with dry wall may be easier to use than the screws and drywall Problem: Residents Live in Apartments anchors provided with the alarms. Peggy Harrell and her team of fire safety advocates in Plano, TX, wanted to install Batteries: If an installer discovers smoke alarms in the homes of older adults but they had a problem: Many older an alarm with missing or dead adults in Plano live in apartment complexes, and installing smoke alarms is the batteries, fresh batteries can be province of the landlord or building supervisor. “We can’t go door-to-door in the installed and the alarm tested. apartments,” says Harrell. “Instead we’re working with building maintenance and Goggles: Installers can protect their supervisors, making sure that they understand the importance of having working eyes from injury by wearing goggles. smoke alarms.” Harrell has even applied for a grant to do a print media campaign specifically for residents of apartments. 15
  17. 17. Step 9: Evaluate Your Program Spotlight: Once the big day has come and gone, you’ll want to evaluate your program’s Keep Your Installation success. Having completed survey forms from volunteers will facilitate this process. As you answer the following questions (and no doubt come up with Program Going a few more of your own), try to focus on ways that you might strengthen the installation project the next time around. The town of Deerfield, IL, has been conducting smoke alarm installation campaigns for more than 20 years. How many alarms did you install? In 1983, the community, located 18 miles north of Chicago, made Were you able to gain access to the community headlines with its ambitious effort or communities you were targeting? to install alarms in every one of Deerfield’s 7,000 homes. Every year Did you meet the installation goals you set? since then, firefighters have paid If not, what were the problems? return visits to those homes, making sure that the alarms and their Was your effort to recruit volunteers successful? batteries are still working. The key to their efforts: a huge commitment Did you receive coverage in the local media? from the local fire department, says Keith Patterson, director of What kinds of financial support did your campaign receive? education and media affairs for the Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire How might you conduct the project differently next time? Protection District. “Everyone in the department got involved and the chief came up with incentives to get people to participate.” The incentives included allowing firefighters to wear comfortable athletic shoes, and special shorts and T-shirts that identified who they were. Since the success of that initial effort, civic and community groups have joined the cause, raising money to support the initiative. “It’s important to think outside the box and be persistent,” says Patterson. Reminder: Smoke alarms are only good for 10 years. After 10 years, the entire unit needs to be replaced. Here are other ideas to keep your installers motivated: • Recognition certificates • Gift certificates • A recognition breakfast, lunch or dinner • Having installers featured on your web site Sparky® and Sparky the Fire Dog® 16 are registered trademarks of the NFPA.