For Immediate Release: October 2, 2014

Sampson County Residents to Receive Free Smoke Alarms During Canvassing Event

The Office of State Fire Marshal and partners will install alarms in homes on Oct. 4.

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin announced today that the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal is partnering with several local, state and national organizations to provide working smoke alarms and fire safety education to residents of Sampson County. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. On August 30, six Garland residents perished in a home fire; investigators later determined that there were no working smoke alarms in the home.

"Fire is everyone's fight," said Goodwin. "By working together, by pooling our resources, and by reaching out to the most at-risk communities, we can prevent future tragedies."

On Saturday, October 4, volunteers will be canvassing neighborhoods in Sampson County to teach people about fire safety and properly install working fire alarms in homes. OSFM and Kidde Fire Safety are each providing more than 1300 10-year smoke alarms for the program, which has been named W.A.S.P. for "Working Alarms Save & Protect."

Volunteers include individuals recruited by the North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry, North Carolina Baptist Men, American Red Cross, the Sampson County Fire Marshal's Office, Sampson County Fireman's Association, and Nationwide Insurance Company.

The following fire departments are also assisting with the effort: Autryville Fire Dept., Clement Volunteer Fire Dept., Clinton Fire Dept., Faison Volunteer Fire Dept., Garland Volunteer Fire Dept., Godwin Falcon Volunteer Fire Dept., Halls Volunteer Fire Dept., Harrells Volunteer Fire Dept., Herring Volunteer Fire Dept., Newton Grove Volunteer Fire Dept., Piney Grove Volunteer Fire Dept., Plain View Volunteer Fire Dept., Roseboro Volunteer Fire Dept., Salemburg Volunteer Fire Dept., Spivey's Corner Volunteer Fire Dept., Taylor's Bridge Volunteer Fire Dept., Turkey Volunteer Fire Dept., and Vann Crossroads Volunteer Fire Dept. Spanish-speaking translators will be available.

Members of the media wishing to cover the event should meet at the Grove Park Baptist Church, 609 Northeast Blvd., Clinton, at 9 a.m. on Oct. 4. For more information, contact Jan Parker on the day of the event at 919-723-1359.