People calling for a pizza delivery in Isla Vista this evening may be surprised by a free pizza – if they aren’t already surprised by the fire truck delivering it.

Part of a special joint promotion by Domino’s Pizza and the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept., beginning at 5 p.m. today, pizzas ordered for delivery in I.V. or Goleta may be delivered aboard a fire engine. With the residents’ permission, firemen will enter the house to inspect smoke detectors and their batteries. If the detectors are operational, the order is free of charge. If the batteries are dead or the alarm isn’t functional, the fire department will replace the system at no additional cost.

“It’s a good reason for someone to come to the door,” Joe Hayes, managing partner for Domino’s in I.V., said. “I don’t know how many houses or time they have planned, but I guess they’d go with us for a couple hours.”

While Hayes said the allure of the deal for students might be the free pizza, he stressed that the most valuable part of the promotion is assuring the fire safety of Goleta and I.V. residents.

“Unfortunately, I’m sure a lot of batteries end up in people’s remote controls instead of the fire detectors,” Hayes said. “We have tons of batteries. Most houses have the smoke detector; I’m sure the biggest thing will be replacing the batteries.”

Captain Eli Iskow, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept., echoed Hayes’ concern – he said the recent spike in home fires could have been curbed by an operating smoke detector.

“We have a record number of home fires because of not having batteries in smoke detectors,” Iskow said. “Fires have gotten more advanced than they normally would. People take the batteries out of their detectors and use them for something else and forget to put them back in. It takes reminders like this to get people more conscious of it.”

Iskow also said that while engines are delivering the pizzas, they are still on call to rush to a fire at any moment.

“They are absolutely on duty,” Iskow said. “If there’s an incident they’ll peel off and go. No one’s going to be out of service. They could even respond quicker because they’re out in motion already.”

While getting a free pizza might be a nice incentive, Iskow said many residents do not understand how important a working smoke alarm can be.

“Particularly in the university, the kids don’t care if the smoke alarms work,” Iskow said. “It’s ridiculous, very frequently there are no batteries in the smoke alarms.”