Free smoke alarms are being installed in approximately 120 senior citizens’ homes as part of the Honolulu Fire Department’s Smoke Alarms for Everyone program.
Senior citizens are at higher risk for injury from home fires, said Fire Chief Kenneth Silva. The HFD, assisted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1186, will complete the job by Friday.
"Our goal is to ensure all homes are equipped with smoke alarms. We strongly feel that homes equipped with working smoke alarms, along with residents who prepare and practice a fire escape plan, are the best defense against injuries and fatalities in residential fires," said Silva.
National statistics show that people over the age of 65 are nearly twice as likely than the national average to die in a home fire. The risk nearly triples for those over 75; after age 85, that risk increases to four times the national average, a release said.
The SAFE Program, which began during Fire Prevention Week 2008, installs free smoke alarms and educates residents on the importance of maintaining them. About 1,000 smoke alarms have been installed in more than 200 seniors’ homes so far. In addition, the HFD worked with the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to install alarms in 24 homes in Papakolea, a news release said.