Officials from fire departments throughout Tippecanoe County are teaming up to offer free smoke detectors to residents in need. The Historic Five Points Fire Museum also is involved in the project, with financial support coming from North Central Health Services.
Lafayette Fire Inspector Patrick Grimes says the grant totals more than $24,000. He says many homes in Tippecanoe County can benefit from multiple fire safety improvements.
"There are a lot of people in our community in need of not only smoke detectors, but carbon monoxide alarms and home escape ladders,” Grimes says. “So, we wanted to start somewhere. We thought this was a great place to start."
He says the project will be ongoing in Greater Lafayette, and could eventually expand to the surrounding counties.
Lafayette Fire Chief Richard Doyle says 2012 was an eye-opening year for fire-related deaths in Greater Lafayette. He says four people died due to fires.
“And that's a huge number for a community our size, where we usually would have maybe one, generally zero, fire fatalities,” Doyle says. “It was alarming to us as chiefs in our community. And we got together and figured out we needed a plan to solve that problem."
Applications forms for detectors will be online beginning November 15th.