Project RED Zone
The Springfield Fire Department (SFD) hopes to reduce fires and fire deaths with the launch of a new campaign called Project RED Zone, which is part of SFD’s Community Risk Reduction (CRR) program. Project RED Zone – a reference to the red areas on the Springfield Fire Department’s map of fire incidents – stands for Reduce, Educate, Deliver.
Data shows 42 percent of all Springfield homes in which a fire occurred in 2016 had no working smoke alarms and two-thirds of all Springfield homes don’t have enough smoke alarms to adequately protect the occupants. SFD recommends smoke alarms be installed on every level of the home, outside each sleeping area and in every bedroom.
“Community Risk Reduction is about prioritizing our risks as a community and working together to invest the time and resources necessary to reduce them,” said Fire Chief David Pennington.
The multifaceted campaign began in spring 2017 with a project to ensure every home in Zone 1 – the area of the City with the highest fire risk – has working smoke alarms. Starting April 8, 2017 and continuing every Saturday for as long as it takes to complete the project, fire crews will canvass Zone 1 knocking on doors, offering to test smoke alarms and installing new alarms or provide batteries if needed at no charge. As of fall 2018, the Fire Department has canvassed the West Central, Grant Beach, Westside, Heart of the Westside neighborhoods, Woodland Heights and is currently canvassing Tom Watkins.
In 2018, RED Zone canvasses have resulted in the installation of 685 smoke alarms and 194 batteries, 1,481 smoke alarms tested and 5,147 homes visited in the ongoing effort to provide life-saving smoke alarms to Springfield residences.
“We are beginning this new campaign with the expansion of our free smoke alarm program because we have identified a lack of adequate warning in a fire as one of the biggest problems we face as a community,” said Pennington.
The project is funded with the help of grant dollars through FEMA’s Fire Prevention and Safety Grant and general revenue SFD funds designated for public education. If successful and if funding is available for additional alarms and batteries, the department hopes to expand the program to other parts of the city.
As always, the Fire Department offers free smoke alarms and batteries to anyone in need. To obtain a free alarm, call 874-2300.