Two Downey High School service clubs began installing free smoke detectors for senior citizens Saturday in a program to put as many as 1,000 of the safety devices in homes during the next six months, according to a spokesman for the Downey Fire Department.
Battalion Chief Gail Crook said the financing to buy the detectors and the labor to install them are being provided by the Downey High School Kiwanette and Key clubs in conjunction with the Downey Fire Department, the American Red Cross and the Kiwanis Club of Downey.
Crook noted that six people died last weekend in a Montebello house fire where a smoke detector was found still in its box. If the detector had been in use, Crook said, those lives might have been saved. He said more than 6,000 people die in home fires each year, with most of those killed from smoke and toxic gases rather than from the fire itself.
Senior citizens interested in having a smoke detector installed in their homes should call the Downey Fire Department, 869-7331, Ext. 257.