01/13/11 After three months, the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office still has nearly 500 smoke alarms to distribute, free of charge, to lower income Hoosiers who are deaf or hearing impaired. The Indiana State Fire Marshal is calling on the public to help spread the word.

“Since the program was first announced, we have identified families and individuals to receive roughly 700 of these smoke alarms,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Applications are moving along, but we need help to spread the word in every Hoosier community. If you are deaf or hearing impaired or have a family member who is deaf or hearing impaired, go online and apply for a free smoke alarm. If you know of an individual who is deaf or hearing impaired in your neighborhood, workplace, community or elsewhere, encourage them to apply as well. Our primary objective is to get these alarms into the hands of Hoosiers who need them most.”

The Indiana State Fire Marshal is also urging fire departments statewide to reach out to their communities with this message.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).

Funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, a $300,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant was used to purchase 1200 alarms in October.

The smoke alarms consist of a strobe light and bed shaker to allow the person who is deaf or hearing impaired to be awakened at night or see the strobe light while awake. The alarms, which usually cost several hundred dollars, will be installed in homes by local fire departments free of charge to recipients.

Individuals who are interested in receiving one of these smoke detectors, and who cannot afford to purchase one on their own, should apply online at www.in.gov/dhs by clicking on “Application for Smoke Alarms.”

IDHS: Leadership for a Safe and Secure Indiana