CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC 7 Chicago; The Chicago Fire Department; Kidde, a leading manufacturer of fire safety products; and The Home Depot will team up once again for "Operation Save-A-Life Chicago," a public service program designed to get life-saving smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms into the hands of at-risk families and provide fire and carbon monoxide (CO) safety education. Now in its 14th year, Kidde will donate 7,000 smoke and CO alarms to departments throughout the greater Chicago area.
To highlight this partnership and to raise awareness, the campaign kicked off with a press conference at Engine 13 on February 8, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. with the ABC 7 Eyewitness News Morning Team to help promote the importance of the campaign in helping to save lives. Engine 13 firehouse is located at 259 North Columbus Drive in Chicago.
Fire and CO fatalities are often preventable through education, the proper use of smoke and CO alarms and basic prevention tips. The message that "simple steps can save lives" will be the focal point of on-air efforts.
The Operation Save-A-Life campaign will underscore the importance of remembering to test smoke and CO alarms weekly and to make sure working alarms, with fresh batteries, are installed on every floor in the home. Missing or non-functional batteries are often to blame for home fire fatalities.
Some of the "simple steps can help save lives" tips that will be reinforced during the Operation Save-A-Life campaign include:
- Test your smoke and CO alarms weekly, and replace at least every 10 years.
- Place smoke alarms inside and outside of all sleeping areas.
- Install a working CO alarm on each floor of your home.
- Teach your children about fire safety.
- Learn CPR.
Also happening this month is Save-A-Life Saturday, a free event teaching fire safety, CO safety and guidance in choosing the right home alarm. It will take place at participating The Home Depot locations throughout the Chicago area on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
ABC 7 is also featuring a series of 15 and 30-second public service vignettes hosted by ABC 7 Eyewitness News morning anchors, Tanja Babich and Terrell Brown, promoting fire and CO safety tips which will air Feb. 8, 2017 through March 5, 2017.
According to the Chicago Fire Department, 67 percent of all homes with fire fatalities did not have any smoke alarms, and 13 percent had smoke alarms that did not work. Through the help of programs like Operation Save-A-Life, Chicago has seen a decrease in fire fatalities with only 14 in 2016 as compared to 55 in 2003.
Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said, "The ongoing relationship of the CFD and ABC 7 has no doubt saved many lives by educating the public on fire prevention and awareness of requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in Chicago. Fire deaths continue to trend lower in Chicago and are pleased to continue this longstanding program."
"ABC 7 is proud to continue its long-standing commitment towards the goal of reducing the total number of fire deaths in the Chicago area. Fourteen years is a great run and we are grateful to all our partners - The Chicago Fire Department, Kidde and The Home Depot -for their support," said John Idler, President and General Manager, ABC 7 Chicago.
"Kidde is a world leader in the fire safety products industry," says Sharon Cooksey, communications manager, Kidde. "And we recognize that with leadership comes a responsibility to the communities we serve. That's why we actively give back through charitable programs like Operation Save-A-Life."