16th Annual Operation Save A Life

For 16 years, WNEP has teamed up with Kidde and local fire departments to keep everyone one safe with the annual Operation Save A Life program.

This year fire departments in 18 counties will receive 5,000 10-year smoke alarms and 500 carbon monoxide detectors.

They will then go to at-risk homes across northeastern and central Pennsylvania, and it's all free of charge.

The facts are clear: smoke alarms save lives, and yet, fire officials here in Honesdale say their biggest battle is getting people to get them and use them.

"Whether it's a house or an apartment, multi-family type structure, single-family residence, we're finding people without working smoke detectors and it's very concerning," said Deputy Chief Brian Dulay, Honesdale Fire Department.

In the fall, 7-year old Dylan Fuller was given an award for saving his family from fire. Back in October, the Honesdale boy heard a smoke alarm and made sure everyone got out of the apartment.

He said, "I woke my family up!"

Back in November, Dylan's Mom, Melanie Deighton, said,  "He's like waking me up. 'Mom! Can you shut that noise off!' and I'm like that's the fire alarm."

Honesdale fire officials say Dylan's story is inspiring, but unfortunately rare.

Deputy Chief Dula tells Newswatch 16 more often than not, he finds no working smoke alarms in homes. He explained, "It's incredibly frustrating. You look at people with their belongings in their apartments, you know they have many types of items, we see people with gaming consoles and everyone is on their cell phone. We know those are large expenses. This is a very affordable expense that would save your life. It is proven to save your life."

In 16 years, WNEP has distributed more than 155,000 smoke alarms to fire departments in northeastern and central Pennsylvania through Operation Save A Life.

Since 2002, Kidde has donated more than 1.2 million smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to fire departments across the country.

Fire officials we spoke with say there is no doubt: Operation Save A Life has definitely saved many lives.

"We do have some people that can't afford a smoke detector so in those instances we have them to provide and we can assist with the installation if needed," added Deputy Chief Dula.

According to the State Fire Commissioner, three out of every five home fire deaths happens in a residence where there are no working smoke alarms.

Deputy Chief Dula said,  "When we look at past calls just from 2019, we're a month in, I can tell you the majority of the places that we've gone we've had nonfunctioning smoke detectors and it's so simple to fix."

If you are in need of an alarm please contact your local fire department to see if they are participating in Operation Save A Life.​

WNEP would like to thank fire protection manufacturer Kidde for their generous donation of more than 135,000 fire safety products since 2003. Visit their website for information on how to keep your home safe from fire.

Here's a video that can help you explain fire safety to your kids:

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