West Virginia consistently ranks among the states with the highest fire related death rates in the nation, and planning, preparing, and protecting is the message of the weekend during an event at Grand Central Mall.
Last year, a house fire was reported every 85 seconds. There's been 29 fire related deaths in West Virginia since January 1st. Most of them were preventable, and over 80 percent of fire related deaths happen in homes with no smoke detectors.
That's the idea behind the fire prevention event this Saturday, March 10th at Grand Central Mall from noon to 3 PM, and they're asking, 'is your family ready for a disaster?'
"We hear about tragic fires where lives were lost, and sometimes that follow up piece of information is that there was not a working smoke detector in the home. To me that's preventable and that's what we really want to help educate the community on. We're bringing in lots of local experts, fire departments, the Red Cross, the Division of Forestry. Several organizations will be here to help re-educate the community on how to keep their families safe," says Katrina Stephens, marketing director for Grand Central Mall
"We are going to have Smokey Bear for the kids. We will have two fire trucks and a safety house outside of the mall. It will be located in front of the mall so that will be fun for the kids as well. They'll get to tour both of those, the fire trucks, and the safety house, and everything inside the mall will be located wrapped around our center court area and that's where all the local fire departments and expert organizations will be on hand to help teach your family how to help keep them safe," Stephens adds.
The event will also be in the parking lot area of the mall this Saturday, March 10th from noon to 3 PM.
Vouchers will be given for free smoke detectors donated by Camden Clark Medical Center, Sears, and McCrady Jones Insurance.
Stephens adds there are no income or housing restrictions to receive a free smoke detector and no one will be turned away.