WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Starting on Thursday, the city of West Springfield will be taking part in a state-wide program to encourage smoke alarm awareness to senior residents.

Called the Senior SAFE Program, the West Springfield Fire Department and the West Springfield Council on Aging are working together to improve the safety in the homes of older adults in the community. The fire department will install free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in homes of people over 60 years old. In addition to that, they will also put highly visible address numbers on houses to minimize any confusion or delay in response by emergency services.

Lt. Tony Spear of the West Springfield Fire Department said, “The elderly community makes up about 17% of the Massachusetts population, and 50% of fatalities, fatal fires, last year involved a senior citizen. So, the numbers don’t match, which means we need to make sure that they get the proper equipment in their homes to make sure they can get out safe.”

West Springfield residents interested in this program are asked to call the West Springfield Council on Aging.