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For the past two years as your State Fire Marshal, my staff and I have witnessed the reporting of unacceptable numbers of fire fatalities due to numerous preventable fire incidents. I see this as unacceptable because of the loss of life to precious families, friends, and neighbors. This concern will remain until working together, we reduce if not eliminate these unfortunate and preventable losses.

We have partnered with the American Red Cross and are working with several other organizations to expand our efforts with a statewide smoke alarm installation initiative. The goal is to do all we can to help all West Virginians, and especially our most vulnerable to fatal fires: children and seniors.

As a part of this year’s Governor’s Day to Serve, we want to launch a smoke alarm initiative project titled “Get Alarmed West Virginia.” In partnership with the American Red Cross and in conjunction with their national “Sound the Alarm – Save A Life” initiative, we want to enlist fire departments, colleges and universities, churches, fraternal and community service organizations, and all who are willing. In other words: people like you! 

This initiative will provide and install free smoke alarms to all residential households in need, as identified through canvassing efforts that will be conducted prior the scheduled event time period. Due to the scale of this project, we’re looking to serve as many communities as possible throughout the state with your help starting on the Saturdays of Sept. 9, 16, 23, and 30, and then culminating with this initiative on Oct. 14.

We’re trying to get an early start on the planning of this significant and important initiative. Please join us by committing early to this project and getting others involved to make this initiative a success! So, gather your friends, family, classmates, fellow parishioners and community service partners and make the commitment by visiting our website at or contact Courtney Rosemond or Tim Rock, our public education staff at (304) 558-2191 or by

contacting the American Red Cross at 1-844-216-8286.  Let’s “Get Alarmed West Virginia”!

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