JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Fire Marshal's office is giving away smoke alarms to try to reduce fire deaths.
Mike Chaney is the state insurance commissioner and fire marshal. He says having a smoke alarm can cut the risk of fire death in half.
Twenty-five people have died in fires in Mississippi so far this year. That is a 41% increase over the same period last year. Chaney says that in at least 16 of the deaths this year, there were no functioning fire alarms.
His office last week started distributing more than 23,500 smoke alarms to city and county fire departments. The fire marshal’s office will train people how to install the alarms, if needed.
The alarms were purchased with federal grants.