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Free Smoke Detectors Available to the Needy

October 15, 1998

As part of a public safety campaign, low-income families and elderly residents can apply for free smoke detectors at all city and county fire departments through Saturday, Los Angeles Fire Department officials said.

Radio Shack and its parent company, Tandy Corp., will be giving away 50,000 smoke detectors to qualified Southern California residents after the Saturday deadline, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Bob Collis said.

"It's a great idea because it involves thousands of homes and obviously there's going to be fires in some of those houses," Collis said. "Although fire detectors are relatively inexpensive, many people can't afford to have these in their homes."

Collis, citing statistics, said eight in 10 fire fatalities occur in homes.

"It's one of the best ways to protect yourselves from fires," he said of smoke detectors.

As a reminder to residents who already have detectors installed in their homes, Collis said they should replace batteries every six months, preferably during time changes.

Interested residents can apply for the free smoke detectors at their local fire stations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Saturday.

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