From left to right are: State Fire Marshal Orlando Hernandez, Katy Lalla with the Starr Agency in Wimberley, Wimberley Fire Chief Carroll Czichos, ICT’s Mark Hanna and Wimberley State Farm Agent Byron Eckols.
Wimberly, Kyle and Roma receive Smoke Alarms
The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) fire prevention program continues to expand as it provides smoke alarms to fire departments in Wimberley, Kyle and Roma during Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 7-13). The cities have become a part of ICT’s life-saving effort called We’re Out to Alarm Texas. Each fire department will receive more than one hundred 10-year lithium powered First Alert smoke detectors that will be placed in homes that are in need of working smoke alarms.
“We’ve provided life-saving smoke alarms to Texas fire departments since 2005,” said Mark Hanna, an ICT spokesperson. “We’ve distributed more than 20,000 smoke alarms to 50 Texas cities and I’m proud to say this program has helped save the lives of several Texans.”
In its first year of operation, We’re Out to Alarm Texas helped to save the lives of three elderly residents in New Braunfels and Waco, after donated smoke alarms alerted them to fires in their smoke-filled homes. Local firefighters were able to successfully rescue the residents before they were overcome by the smoke and fire.
We’re Out to Alarm Texas started as a joint effort between ICT and the State Fire Marshal’s Office, to help save lives by providing smoke alarms to needy citizens. Initially, ICT donated smoke alarms to cities with high fire fatalities, but as information about the program spread, fire departments in every corner of the state asked to join the program.
More than 150 people die every year in structure fires in Texas and smoke alarms have been credited with saving the lives of thousands of would-be fire victims in the United States.
Firefighters will respond to residents in need of working smoke alarms on a first come, first serve basis. Firefighters will check out each home for potential fire hazards and then install smoke alarms where needed. Fifteen hundred smoke alarms were distributed just recently to more than 20 fire departments around the state.
Several insurance companies and organizations assisted ICT in purchasing the smoke alarms. They included State Farm, the Travelers Companies, the Association of Fire and Casualty Companies in Texas (AFACT) and First Alert.
Earlier this year ICT donated smoke alarms to the fire departments in Amarillo, Farmers Branch, Point, River’s End, Haltom City, Laredo, Del Rio, Galveston, Wichita Falls, New Braunfels, Little York, Lufkin, Pearland, San Angelo, Burkburnett, Longview, Travis County, Bastrop, Potter County, Midland, Abilene, Spring and Fresno.
Roma State Farm agent Felipe Gomez with homeowner Yaritza Moreno and one month old son Brandel, Roma Fire Chief Alfredo Garza and Roma fire fighter. Mrs. Moreno’s home has never had a working smoke alarm until now.