The Ellendale Fire Company says they’ll step up their efforts to ensure local families have access to working smoke detectors in the wake of deadly fires across Sussex County in recent months.

Assistant Fire Chief Aaron Moore cites recent fatal blazes in Bridgeville, Milton and Millsboro as the inspiration for the initiative, which aims to ensure everyone has smoke detectors, that they’re properly installed and functioning correctly. Assistant Chief Moore tells WGMD this Friday at 6 p.m. the Department will visit homes across Ellendale, traveling door to door to conduct the tests.

A key highlight of their initiative is that the Department will offer free smoke detectors to anyone in the Ellendale area that does not have a smoke detector. 11 lives were lost in fires in 2018 in Delaware, with 8 of those deaths attributed to non-working smoke detectors.

The department says a fire can double in size in just 30 seconds time, and early notification is essential to saving lives and property.