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Reducing Residential Fire Fatalities Targeted at Statewide Smoke Alarm Installs and Sprinkler Demonstrations

Michigan’s Community Risk Reduction Program Partners with American Red Cross-Michigan Region; Fire Departments

Media Contact: LARA Communications

May 18, 2018 - The fight to reduce Michigan’s increasing number of residential fire fatalities gains momentum this weekend as Michigan’s Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Task Force joins forces with the American Red Cross-Michigan Region, local fire departments and other community partners. Statewide events feature home smoke alarm installations and sprinkler demonstrations. The Michigan CRR is a statewide program that is working to reduce fire fatalities in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the state.

“With more than 50 home fire deaths already reported to us this year, we’re out in full force to combat this trend on several fronts. This weekend’s activities are only just the beginning,” said State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer. “Firefighters in the Traverse City area are going door-to-door to check for working smoke alarms and do installs where there are none. Many, many thanks to the American Red Cross-Michigan Region for so generously providing the smoke alarms.”

Statewide events include:

Smoke alarm home installation in Traverse City on Saturday, May 19 from 11 am - 3 pm; several local fire departments (Traverse City, Blair Township, Grand Traverse Metro, Paradise Township, Peninsula Township and Cedar) will be participating in a smoke alarm blitz in their communities. The American Red Cross-Michigan Region donated 200 smoke alarms to be installed and is also coordinating volunteers to work with the fire departments to install and check smoke alarms. The safe neighborhood campaign runs through the summer.

Sehlmeyer said the CRR Task Force is also joining with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to raise awareness of the growing dangers of home fires and the life-saving benefits of installing fire sprinklers in new homes. 

This is in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Associations’ Home Fire Sprinkler Day, Saturday, May 19. 

Side-by-side sprinkler demonstrations will be held Saturday, May 19 in Holland, hosted by the Holland Fire Department in partnership with the Saugatuck Fire District; and in Brighton, hosted by the Brighton Fire Department. Muskegon Township Fire will today demonstrate a sprinkled house located at 2497 Chestnut Trail in Muskegon; local agencies will be available to answer questions.

“Today’s home fires are fast and they are deadly,” said Sehlmeyer. “We’re educating and demonstrating through these events, the life-saving necessity of having smoke working alarms on every level of your home and how sprinklers can prevent injuries and save lives.”

In April, the state fire marshal initiated a statewide challenge to all Michiganders, to “Push the Button” to test smoke alarms in the homes of elderly loved ones and challenge friends to do the same for their family. Videos can be posted on personal accounts and the Push the Button Challenge Facebook page, using the hashtag ‘#PressToTest’.

For the last several years, Michigan has ranked in the top tier of states nationally for its high number of residential fire fatalities. In 2017, Michigan’s fire departments collectively reported 96 residential fire fatalities with the highest percentage (52 percent) among those over age 60.  Further, the National Fire Protection Association reports that 3 out of every 5 home fire deaths occur from fires in homes without working smoke alarms.

For more information on the CRR program go to: Michigan CRR 2018-2020 Strategic Plan. The CRR Task Force is comprised of more than 70 members from fire departments across the state, the Bureau of Fire Services staff, and representatives from Michigan Fire Service organizations, the American Red Cross-Michigan Chapter, and support of the National Fire Protection Association.

Visit the Bureau of Fire Services website at for more fire safety information
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