96-H 9042

Passed in House

Apr. 26, 1996.


WHEREAS, Each year, fires in America cause over 6,000 deaths, more than 100,000 injuries and over seven billion dollars in property damage. Eighty percent of all deaths caused as a result of fires occur in residences that are not equipped with smoke detectors; and

WHEREAS, During 1995, Rhode Island lost 26 children and adults to fires. Using smoke detectors is an effective way of providing families with an early warning in the event of fire, thereby allowing time to escape. According to the National Fire Administration, installing smoke detectors doubles the chance of escaping a fire without suffering serious injury; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island Fire Marshals, in cooperation with Radio Shack/Tandy Corp., the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS, and the Rhode Island Lions of District 42 of Lions Clubs International are moving forward to address the problem of fire safety with the smoke detector campaign "Operation Firesafe"; and

WHEREAS, The objective of "Operation Firesafe" is to have a smoke detector in every house in Rhode Island. The combined intention of the four sponsoring groups is to provide and install free smoke detectors to needy, elderly or disabled citizens throughout the Ocean State. Another vital facet of the campaign will be to educate the public on the value of smoke detectors as life saving devices; and

WHEREAS, "Operation Firesafe" will distribute 5,000-plus smoke detectors to the 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island via local fire departments. Once at the local level, the objective will be to get the detectors into the homes of those in need. Each of the 39 cities and towns will receive a free supply of up to 150 smoke detectors to meet the needs of the community. To qualify for participation in the program, a person must be 55 years of age or older, meet HUD federal income guidelines, or be disabled; and

WHEREAS, Volunteer members of the Lions Club have received training and will be state certified by the Fire Marshal's Office on the proper installation of smoke detectors by "Operation Firesafe's" April 29 launch date. These specially trained Lions Club members will support local fire departments in installing the free devices; and

WHEREAS, Although "Operation Firesafe" is still in its infancy, the groups involved are already looking to the future by making a Fire Safety House part of the program. A mobile trailer designed to educate children, ages pre-school through fifth grade, on various techniques needed to escape from a fire and how to prevent a fire from ever taking place, a Fire Safety House will prove an invaluable tool in the crusade to improve fire safety awareness in Rhode Island; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations honors the groups contributing their time and resources to fire safety prevention education in the Ocean State by hereby proclaiming April 29--May 6 to be "Smoke Detector Awareness Week"; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Mr. William Jasparro, Regional Lion Chairman, who is helping to implement "Operation Firesafe".

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