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Posted on: April 13, 2017

Week 1 of Project RED Zone a success; Project continues in West Central Saturday


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Week 1 of Project RED Zone a success. Project continues in West Central Saturday

Week 1 of Project RED Zone is in the books. During the first week of the campaign to reduce fires and fire-related deaths and injuries, Springfield firefighters visited 256 homes in the West Central neighborhood. They tested 66 smoke alarms, installed 75 new alarms and changed 10 batteries. 

Project RED Zone – a reference to the red areas on the Springfield Fire Department’s map of fire incidents  – stands for Reduce, Educate, Deliver. It is part of SFD's Community Risk Reduction (CRR) program. The multifaceted campaign, which is part of the Zone Blitz, aims to ensure every home in Zone 1 - the area of the City with the highest fire risk - has working smoke alarms.

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. The department will continue its campaign in the West Central neighborhood this Saturday, an area which has an extremely high fire risk. In 2016, there were 55 fires in West Central - the highest of any neighborhood in Springfield.

Springfield’s fire death rate is among the highest in the United States. In fact, it’s nearly triple the national average. In 2016, Springfield experienced five fire deaths. This is the equivalent of nearly 30 fire deaths per one million people. The national average is just over 10. Working smoke alarms doubles your chances of surviving a fire, yet data shows most Springfield homes are not adequately protected by smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, in each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.

The department expects the project to take around one year to complete and 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.

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For more information, contact the Springfield Fire Department media line at 874-2301.

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