- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

BRANDON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi insurance commissioner is distributing about 300 smoke alarms in an effort to reduce fire deaths.

Commissioner Mike Chaney is also the state fire marshal.

His office says in a news release that Chaney delivered 102 fire alarms Tuesday to officials in Brandon. Deputy fire marshals delivered 204 alarms in Starkville and Oktibbeha County.

State fire coordinator Brad Smith says the free alarms will be given to homes that are considered at higher risk, including low-income households or those with children or older residents.

Sixteen people have died in fires in Mississippi so far in 2017. The fire marshal’s office says 10 of those people were in buildings without a working smoke alarm.

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