Operation 6abc Save-A-Life returns to give out free smoke detectors to area fire departments

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The 29th annual Operation 6abc Save-A-Life is now underway.

Nearly 200 fire companies received free smoke detectors on Tuesday that they will install in the homes of families in need.

"We have seniors who can't get out to get these detectors, and you make these available to us, we make them available to the community," said Ed Grossman of the Folsom Fire Company.

Sponsors like Toyota and Kidde helped to provide 10,000 smoke detectors this year.

6abc President and General Manager Bernie Prazenica says the campaign is about commitment to the community.

"Our viewers, our friends, our colleagues, they're the ones who benefit from getting these free smoke detectors, so it's a big deal," he said.

The need has only gone up during the pandemic.

"We've actually seen an uptick in fires of various kinds because of COVID. We think it's because folks are at home doing more cooking," said Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel. "We really need people to be careful."

"This is such an important partnership with 6abc for so many years, all the other partners involved in this, to really help protect lives and property," Thiel said.

The Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association has been a sponsor from the very beginning.

"The deaths from fire are cut 50% when people have smoke detectors, so this is a matter of life and death," said association president Paul Muller.

"It's really and truly all about saving lives - that's what this is all about. If we can save one more life it makes all the difference in the world," said association secretary Bob McCormick.

With that in mind, it's a good time to check on your neighbors.

"If you have senior in your area or anyone over 55, please check on them and make sure their fire and smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working," said Kidde Fire Safety Educator Sharon Cooksey.

Tuesday also happened to be International Firefighters Day, so we salute you for all that you do and we're glad we could play any small to help.
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