Free smoke alarms for Baltimore residents who call 311

Federal program funds purchase of 10,000 smoke alarms

August 22, 2011|By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore City residents can now call 311 to request free smoke alarms for their homes, under a new federally funded initiative to help prevent fire-related deaths and destruction.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Fire Chief James Clack announced Monday that the city has received a $94,000 federal grant to purchase 10,000 "tamper resistant" smoke alarms with lithium batteries designed to last for 10 years.

City residents can request smoke alarms by calling 311, and firefighters will be dispatched to install them for free. The city is funding the installation.

One smoke alarm per floor will be provided, but more could be installed depending on the number of residents and other circumstances, fire department spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright said. An adult must be present at the time of the installation, he said.

The goal is to decrease the potential for fire deaths and destruction of property, he added.

"We want to make sure everyone has a working smoke alarm," Cartwright said.

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