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FOR RELEASE: March 4, 2003
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications

Vinita Fire Department Ready to Launch - FIRES OUT, OKLAHOMA

In an effort to provide an extra layer of safety for residents who may not have
smoke alarms in their homes, the Vinita Fire Department is teaming with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Craig County Health Department, county fire departments, and local officials and volunteers in a project to install smoke alarms in homes throughout Craig County. Fire department employees and volunteers will also be conducting fire prevention education to increase awareness of fire-related injuries and fire prevention techniques among the county’s citizens.

This project, called “Fires Out, Oklahoma,” is supported by the Injury Prevention
Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, through a grant from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Injury Prevention Service has been conducting similar smoke alarm projects throughout the state since 1990, along with numerous fire departments, health departments, and other agencies. These partnerships have successfully installed or distributed almost 30,000 smoke alarms to more than 26,000 homes in Oklahoma in the first 11 years. The “Fires Out, Oklahoma” project began in 2002 and has successfully installed or distributed more than 4,000 alarms in almost 2,000 homes in three rural communities. Persons that live in rural areas are at higher risk for suffering a residential fire injury. Having a properly installed and functioning smoke alarm can double Craig County residents’ chance of surviving a house fire.

A door-to-door survey will be conducted in Craig County communities to determine the prevalence of smoke alarms in Craig County. Distribution of 1,250 smoke alarms will begin once the survey is complete.

For more information, contact Randy White, assistant fire chief, Vinita Fire Department, (918) 783-5897 or Miriam McGaugh, project coordinator, Oklahoma State Department of Health, (405) 271-3430


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