Oct. 13, 2003
CEDARBURG, Wisc. — Pizzeria operators and firefighters are teaming up to raise awareness about fire safety by rewarding some customers who have working smoke detectors with free pizza.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, firefighters will randomly select homes to visit when customers call in pizza orders between 4 and 7 p.m. Oct. 23.
Only homes with children 14 and younger will be eligible to get free pizzas, said Bridget Clementi, who developed the Delivering Fire Prevention project. About one in every 15 orders placed at 24 participating restaurants will trigger a fire department visit.
"If you don't have a smoke alarm, the fire department will give you one free — and then you pay for the pizza," Clementi said.
"Nearly 40,000 children under the age of 14 are injured in house fires annually," Clementi said. "The chances of dying in a residential fire are cut in half when you have a working smoke detector present."
Graham Cass, general manager of a Pizza Hut restaurant that participated last year said the program was a huge success.
"Three days after it ended, we still had people calling to ask if they could still get a free pizza or a smoke detector," he said.
Papa John's of Southeastern Wisconsin gave away more than 40 pizzas last year from seven locations in the chain, the newspaper reported. This year, nine locations will participate.
Children's Health Education Center, a group associated with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, pays the $2,500 bill for alarms and educational materials the firefighters distribute.