AUGUSTA – Maine officials are working to install smoke detectors in homes for free.

State Fire Marshal Joseph Thomas said his office received 1,000 smoke detectors from the Southern Maine Community College, which is using a grant to distribute the devices.

Thomas said smoke detectors will be installed by Red Cross volunteers. Thomas said they’ll start with a practice round on Saturday in Biddeford and formally kick off the program later this month.

In his weekly radio address, Republican Gov. Paul LePage said that the goal is to ensure that smoke detectors are in every home. He said more than one-third of home fire deaths occur when there is no smoke alarm.

Thomas said his office is looking into getting more donations to continue the program once the 1,000 are distributed.

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