It's a device that can save your life, but unfortunately not everyone has one. A nonprofit group in Omaha is trying to save lives by making sure every household has a smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
Ray Somberg is president of the First Responders' Critical Support Foundation. The group is on a mission, raising money to buy the detectors for homes in low-income areas.
“There are 40,000 homes in the low-income areas, mostly north and south Omaha that do not have this device and the bottom line is to make people safer in their homes. People are injured and die in their homes because they don't have this device.”
In 2010, an Omaha couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The couple’s car was found in a closed garage with the key in the ignition and an empty gas tank.
Somberg says deaths like those can be prevented. “We want to be the first city in the country to say that all the homes in our low-income area has this lifesaving device in their homes.”
The foundation is trying to raise $800,000 to buy detectors in bulk and install them for free. A $20 donation is enough to buy one detector.
“We don't ask people how much money they make or see their tax returns or anything like that,” says Somberg. “If they want them and they're in these areas the fire department just installs them.”
So far, the group has raised more than $250,000. If you're in a low-income area without a detector you can call the fire department at 444-5700 to get information on a free install. You can also send a check to the First Responders' Critical Support Foundation at 14916 Miami Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68116. Or donate by clicking the link at the bottom of this story.