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State fire marshal issues statewide smoke alarm safety initiative

"We're finding that in over half of those fires, there were not smoke alarms, or there were smoke alarms that didn't have batteries in them," said State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- The state fire marshal visited northern Michigan Tuesday to issue a new statewide initiative for smoke alarm safety.

More than 50 home fire deaths have already been reported in Michigan this year and it is a startling number that first responders want to get under control.

The focus of the initiative is to bring attention to the importance of smoke alarms and how they can save lives.

Eventually the state fire marshal wants fire departments across the state to be able to check homes and provide those in need with working smoke alarms.

"We're finding that in over half of those fires, there were not smoke alarms, or there were smoke alarms that didn't have batteries in them," said State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer.

On Saturday, firefighters will be going door to door within the county to check for working smoke alarms.

That event is running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Funding for the smoke alarms was provided by AAA, Red Cross and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

If you or a loved one needs a smoke alarm check, you are asked to contact your local fire department and let them know.

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