FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On Saturday, October 13, from 10 a .m. until 11:30 a.m., South Trail firefighters will canvas homes in the Jamaica Bay neighborhood and provide free smoke alarms and batteries to residents who need them.

In 1992, two young children in the South Trail Fire District died in a residential structure fire—the children’s home was not protected by a working smoke alarm. In response to this tragedy, for the past 21 years, during Fire Prevention Week, South Trail Fire & Rescue personnel have conducted a smoke alarm check and giveaway for District residents. Over 2,700 smoke alarms have been distributed since 1992.

Free smoke alarms and batteries are available year-round to residents of the South Trail Fire & Rescue District by calling 936-5281.

Smoke Alarms save Lives. Smoke alarms have saved tens of thousands of lives since they were first installed in homes in the 1970s. The chances of dying in a fire are cut in half when a working smoke alarm is present in the home.  Homes without working smoke alarms are where the majority of home fire deaths occur.

South Trail Fire & Rescue District offers the following tips to protect your family with working smoke alarms.

- Install enough smoke alarms to protect your home—on each level of the home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.

- Install dual sensor smoke alarms that use both ionization and photoelectric technologies to detect fires.

- Interconnect all smoke alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound.

- Replace smoke alarms after 10 years of service. All battery-operated and hard-wired smoke alarms installed before October 2002 should be replaced.

- Perform routine maintenance on smoke alarms: test alarms monthly, replace the batteries once a year, and periodically vacuum the alarms.

- Hold regular fire drills during the day and at night so that everyone in your home recognizes the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.