Detroit Red Wings, Michigan fire departments team up to distribute, install smoke alarms

Blog Post created by mikehazell Employee on Oct 18, 2011

Red Wings Smoke Alarm project
Firefighters pose with Red Wings player Henrik Zetterberg at the distribution event. Photo: Firehouse.com

As featured on Firehouse.com, by Paul Peluso

Smoke alarms are always a hot topic when Fire Prevention Week comes around each year, but with dwindling budgets and cuts in manpower, departments must get creative when it comes to how to acquire them.

Ten years ago, Brendan Shanahan -- then one of the stars for the NHL's Detroit Red Wings -- approached the team's front office wanting to do something to remember his father, who was a firefighter, after he passed away

The team's smoke alarm initiative began, and since then it has helped distribute close to 20,000 of the devices to departments throughout southeastern Michigan.

This year, 5,065 alarms were collected -- the most ever during the program's history and almost double the amount collected last year.

In all, eight departments were on hand at an event at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday to receive the smoke alarms.

The largest department -- the City of Detroit -- was given 1,000 devices, while Flint and Saginaw were given 750 each.

The rest of the smoke alarms were distributed to the other departments in attendance and will be further distributed to more, and then installed in households in high-risk and low-income communities.

NFPA offers free smoke alarm installation guide
NFPA Smoke Alarm Installation GuideLooking to kick-off a smoke alarm installation program in your community?  Your program can target an entire community or reach out to a core group of vulnerable citizens. You'll want to involve fire safety advocates from across your community -- from firefighters and safety educators to business leaders and representatives of older adult or health groups. However you choose to go about it, by installing smoke alarms in homes, you’ll be doing your part to make residents and your entire community much safer.

Download a free copy "Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program" guide, a 20-page, step-by-step guide from NFPA that will help you select and train volunteers, solicit donations, and publicize your program.

- Mike Hazell