Smoke Detector Initiative

In the City of Appleton, we have some very troublesome statistics. We found that over the last three years, in fires that occurred in one-and two-family homes, 25% did not have a working smoke alarm.

The primary reason that the smoke alarms did not work was the removal of the battery, and the secondary reason was a dead battery.

In the last twenty years, there weren’t working smoke alarms in the residence, in all seven of the city’s civilian fire-related deaths.

To further drive this point home, significant fire damage occurred in a multi-unit residential building. Post-incident analysis indicated 42% of the individual apartments were without working alarms of any kind. In all cases, the battery was either dead or had been removed completely.

To fill this need, our plan is to provide free tamper-proof smoke alarms, including the batteries. Our department has developed a comprehensive and detailed plan to make it happen in our community. We have started to fund this program from grant awards we have received. We are also looking long-term to make this a regional program in cooperation, with our neighboring communities.

Right now, the beneficiaries of this program are those people who live in a high-risk property and high-risk area, who cannot afford working smoke alarms. This project provides an additional benefit to us as a fire department, because the alarms are tamper-proof and the batteries are long-lasting; ensuring they will work if needed. In the future, depending on support, this program will be expanded to include all residences built prior to 1992 – tens of thousands of homes in the Fox Valley.

We need your support to make this program work. Lives depend on it.