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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office


Clive, IOWA --- The State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) announced today that the number of Iowans saved (22) by working smoke detectors is more than double the number of lives lost (9) in Iowa in 2010.  A press conference was held at the Clive Fire Department. So far in 2010, nine Iowans have died in fires while 22 people have been saved because of working smoke detectors.

State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds said, “Typically, the number of fire deaths is well known and well publicized. When I became State Fire Marshal, I felt it was just as important, if not more important, to track and publicize the number of lives saved because of working smoke detectors. I’m proud that Iowans take fire prevention seriously.”

Tori Smith, age 9, from Ottumwa woke up to a beeping smoke detector at 2:00 a.m. at her home on April 17th and alerted her mother and brother. All three got out safely and are now counted among the 22 people saved by a working smoke detector. The family’s home was badly damaged by fire. Ottumwa Fire Marshal Mike Jones joined Tori and her family at today’s press conference.

Clive Fire Marshal Tony Collins said, “One of the most important ways the fire service can save lives is to insure that Iowans have working smoke detectors. We support the State Fire Marshal and won’t be satisfied until the number of fire fatalities is zero. One fire fatality is too many.”

The State Fire Marshal Division recommends that smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years and batteries in smoke detectors should be replaced every year. A new dual sensing smoke detector law went into effect in Iowa on April 1, 2010.


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