Smoke Detectors To Be Given Out Across Stamford

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Matthew Maounis, assistant chief of the Turn of River Volunteer Fire Department, wants the smoke detector giveaway to be the first step people take in making their homes safer. Photo Credit: Anthony Buzzeo
Matthew Maounis was instrumental in getting First Alert to donate 1,000 smoke detectors to the city. Photo Credit: Anthony Buzzeo

STAMFORD, Conn. — As investigators still try to determine whether smoke detectors were working in the Stamford home where five people died in a fire Christmas morning, city fire departments will hand out 1,000 smoke detectors to residents.

“We can’t change what happened Christmas morning, but maybe we can prevent another tragedy from happening,” Ted Jankowski, Stamford's director of public safety, said during a news conference at the Turn of River firehouse Thursday.

Jankowski will lead a task force that will work to make it a law to have smoke detectors in Stamford homes, Mayor Michael Pavia said. There may also be a push by Stamford’s state legislators to strike down any laws that allow people to live in a home that doesn't have smoke detectors.

“Forget the law,” said Pavia, adding that just because smoke detectors are not legally required is not a reason not to have them.

First Alert donated the smoke detectors after being contacted by Matthew Maounis, assistant fire chief of the Turn of River Fire Department. The volunteer firefighter was not in Stamford when the fatal blaze took place but wanted to help.

Residents will be allowed one or two smoke detectors, depending on the size of their house, Maounis said. He also may start a list of people who need more than two and distribute extra detectors if they become available, he said.

Smoke detectors can be picked up Jan. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Stamford Government Center and Jan. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Yerwood Center. Additional dates will be scheduled for February.

“We’re starting the foundation to keep this going every year,” Fire Chief Antonio Conte said after Thursday’s news conference.

Stamford Fire & Rescue and the volunteer departments will lead the effort. Residents interested in getting a smoke alarm and/or home safety can email firstalert@trfd.com.

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