Fire Marshal Receives Smoke Detector Grant

Oct 28, 2016

Credit South Dakota Department of Public Safety

A working smoke detector is a critical part of fire protection.  A new grant to the State Fire Marshal’s office aims to make smoke detectors more available.

The State Farm Insurance Company gave the South Dakota Fire Marshal’s office a $5,000 grant to pay for smoke detectors. The funds are a boost to the South Dakota Smoke Alarm Grant Program. The service distributes new alarms to people living in homes that don’t have working smoke detectors. The program has given over 5,000 alarms to fire departments around the state since 2014.

Paul Merriman is the South Dakota Fire Marshal. He says having a working smoke detector should be a requirement for any home.

“They’re available for anyone and basically we’re just trying to target any home we consider a high risk home that would not have working smoke alarms in them or some homes don’t have smoke alarms at all. So we’re trying to work with our local fire folks to identify those homes and hopefully get some of these alarms out there and installed,” says Merriman.

Merriman says over 2,500 people die nationally from house fire each year. He says two thirds of those deaths happen in homes without smoke detectors. Merriman says the alarms are available to anyone who needs them.

Check out the South Dakota Fire Marshal's website or call for more information on the program.