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Survey Reveals Millions Of American Homeowners Are Unaware Of Fire Safety Basics

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With results from a recent survey indicating that a staggering number of Americans don't know the basics of home fire safety, Kidde, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Help the Good Guys today introduced "Be a Hero, Save a Hero," a fire safety campaign focused on educating homeowners to reduce the risk that firefighters face every time they respond to a house fire call. Kidde is the leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products and a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

(Photo: )

(Photo: )

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents to a nationwide survey by Kelton could not correctly describe where to install smoke alarms in the home, while 43 percent admitted they don't know how often to replace smoke alarms. These knowledge gaps may place millions of families at risk of not escaping a home fire.

The "Be a Hero, Save a Hero" pledge urges consumers to reduce the risk that firefighters face by pledging to ensure their home has enough up-to-date and working fire safety equipment and to have and practice a home fire escape plan.

For each person who takes the pledge, Kidde will make a donation to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Help the Good Guys, two organizations dedicated to helping the families of injured and fallen firefighters. Kidde will donate up to $10,000 to each organization. 

In conjunction with the 46 th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, Kidde also has teamed up with Bucky Covington, former American Idol contestant and rising country music star, to encourage consumers to take the pledge. Covington is the spokesperson for and an active supporter of Help the Good Guys.

"Firefighters put their lives on the line every time they answer a call, and the risk increases if they have to enter a burning home to rescue those inside," said Chris Rovenstine, vice president, marketing and sales, Kidde. "By working with the CMA and our non-profit partners, we are able to reach an extensive audience to share the 'Be a Hero, Save a Hero' pledge. We have no doubt this collaboration will help save the lives of families and firefighters across the nation."

Today's announcement took place at Nashville Fire Station #9. In addition to unveiling the pledge and public service announcement campaign, Kidde donated 500 of its new Worry-Free Smoke Alarms to the Nashville Fire Fighters Union Local 140 for installation in homes throughout the community. The Worry-Free alarms, powered by 10-year, sealed-in lithium batteries, offer continuous protection for a decade and never require a new battery.

"The sooner an alarm is heard after an emergency arises, the more time there is to respond. By taking the simple online pledge, consumers will know the steps to help be fire safe and significantly increase the chance that they will have enough time to escape their house should a fire occur. With everyone out of the house, it decreases the chance a firefighter would be injured or killed trying to save a life," said Chief Ronald Siarnicki, executive director, National Fallen Fighters Foundation. "National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics show that two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in homes with either no smoke alarm or no working alarm, and the primary reasons smoke alarms fail to operate are dead or missing batteries."

Consumers can visit to affirm their commitment to home fire safety by taking the "Be a Hero, Save a Hero" pledge. Participants can generate a donation by sharing their commitment via Facebook and Twitter, choosing to "Like" Kidde on Facebook, or by entering for the chance to win a six-day/five-night trip for two to the 2013 CMA Music Festival.

About Kidde

As the world's largest manufacturer of fire safety products, Kidde's mission is to provide solutions that protect people and property from the effects of fire and its related hazards. For more than 90 years industry leaders, the military, airlines and firefighters have relied on Kidde to deliver superior fire detection and suppression. Consumers will find that same advanced fire safety technology in Kidde's residential and commercial smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and other life safety products.

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