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If smoke detector works, free pizza could be on way

Area residents who have working smoke detectors could be eating free pizza because of a Safe Kids promotion later this month, which is Fire Prevention Month.

Six families will be picked at random from among those ordering pizzas at Pizza Man in Ellsworth Wednesday evening, Oct. 25, for the promotion by the organization which focuses on injury prevention to children ages 14 and under. To be eligible, the chosen families must have members in that age range, according to Mary Waters of River Falls' Safe Kids chapter.

Crews from the Ellsworth Fire Department will head to the selected homes, where they'll check to see if there's a detector on the premises and whether it's operating, Waters said Wednesday. They'll talk briefly with the children about fire safety and home fire-escape plans. Then, a Pizza Man delivery person will arrive with a pizza that's free, provided the detector is functioning. The pizza's only free in that case and any other items ordered must be paid for by the caller.

If there's no detector, one will be given to the household, she said. The names of the six lucky families will be taken from orders in Pizza Man's delivery area placed by calling 273-6222 between 6 and 7:30 p.m. Safe Kids, the EFD and Pizza Man (donor of the free pizzas) are the local sponsors, while State Farm Insurance supports the effort as a company.

Local State Farm Agent Denton Achenbach is offering a free nine-volt battery suitable for use in a detector to everyone who orders a pizza from Pizza Man here that evening, whether chosen or not, he said. Achenbach encourages people to make sure their smoke alarms are in working order.

Waters, a River Falls First Responder and Emergency Medical Technician, said the promotion began four years ago and this is the first year for it to be conducted in Ellsworth. She hopes it can be an annual event in the community.

Information from Safe Kids USA she shared shows accidental childhood injury is the leading killer of children age 14 and under. Burns are one of the leading causes of death from accidental injury, along with motor vehicle occupant injury, airway obstruction, drowning and pedestrian injury. Injuries are the second leading cause of hospitalization and the leading cause of emergency room visits among children under age 14.

Safe Kids USA has over 300 coalitions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, which bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. It's a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury.