The Wichita Fire Department is urging residents to be proactive in buying and testing smoke alarms after 11 fire-related deaths in 2013.
Brad Crisp, Fire Marshal, said fire alarms were not present or functioning in a majority of those deaths.
Shelter Insurance and Tyco SimplexGrinnell has joined a partnership with the Wichita Fire Department in supplying smoke alarms. Residents who do not have a smoke alarm can call 268-4441 and request that firefighters help install the device at no charge.
"A working smoke alarm scans the air for smoke, 24 hours a day," Ronald Blackwell, Wichita Fire Chief, said. "They are proven to give you and your family time to escape in the event of a fire."
A working smoke alarm reduces by half the chances of dying in a fire, according to fire studies.