St. Lucie County Fire District kicks off a smoke detector drive.

ST LUCIE COUNTY, Fl. - A program sponsored by the the St. Lucie County Fire District, along with the 211 Call Center, kicked off today with the goal of installing 3206 smoke detectors. St Lucie County fire officials say the program is funded by a Federal Grant.    

St. Lucie County residents, according to the Fire District, can call the 211 Call Center to arrange for a smoke detector.  The Call Center will gather information from the resident and then pass it on to the Fire District.  Firefighters will arrange a time to meet the resident and install the smoke detector.  

The St Lucie County Fire District says that 200 smoke detectors for the hearing impaired will be available and the Call Center will also take calls for those smoke detectors.  Those detectors for the hearing impaired will need to be installed by a licensed electrician.      

"We have had several recent fires in which a working smoke detector would have made the difference," explained Deputy Chief Brian Blizzard explained at a morning briefing. He also said that  "We are confident that this program will save lives."    

The Fire District says that in 2011, (the most recent data available) 132 civilians died from fire related incidents in Florida; 73% of those were in residential fires.  In addition, statewide, 1003 civilians were injured in fires, with 839 of those being in residential fires.  

Fire officials say that the smoke detectors are operated by a 10-year lithium battery, so residents will not have to remember to replace batteries every year.  They also have a "hush" feature so residents will be able to temporarily turn off the smoke detector if there is an accidental activation.    

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