"I look back at the fire deaths that have happened in San Francisco and I think every single one of them is because there was not a working smoke alarm," San Francisco Fire Marshal Barbara Schultheis said.
The National Fire Protection Association says last year, more than 3,000 people died in home fires and more than 17,000 were injured. Operation 7: Save A Life is an educational campaign to remind people the importance of having working smoke detectors and working carbon monoxide alarms in their homes.
ABC7/KGO-TV and its corporate sponsors Kidde and Home Depot will help fire departments distribute 3,000 smoke alarms and 600 CO detectors to low income families in the Bay Area.
Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman reminded the crowd of a family of eight in Redwood City that was overcome by carbon monoxide because they were running a generator in the basement.
All of them were treated at the hospital, including five children. A combination of cold weather and a bad economy could put more people at risk if they are trying to save on their electric bill by using fireplaces and older space heaters.
"This is a community program that really will save lives. It will put detectors into homes and eventually it will save lives," ABC7/KGO General Manager and President Valari Staab said.