Smoke Detector Blitz April 15
UPDATE: Volunteers from Lakota Hills Baptist Church and the American Red Cross visited about 500 homes and installed 60 smoke detectors during last weekend's Smoke Detector Blitz with West Chester Fire Department.
The West Chester Fire Department will be going door to door in one West Chester neighborhood and its surrounding streets this weekend, teaming up with volunteers to install smoke detectors in homes Saturday, April 15.
“We are partnering with Lakota Hills Baptist Church on Tylersville Road and the American Red Cross to install free smoke detectors and remind home owners of important fire safety awareness information,” Fire Chief Rick Prinz said. “This smoke detector blitz campaign would not be possible without strong community partnerships and support from residents.”
The smoke detector blitz kicked off April 8 when church volunteers and fire crews canvassed the neighborhood of Maud and nearby streets notifying residents with flyers. Through the American Red Cross’s ‘Home Fire Campaign’ program, smoke detectors for the April 15 installation day are supplied at no cost and installation training is provided to volunteers.
According to the American Red Cross, 36 people suffer injuries and seven people die every day as a result of home fires. The humanitarian organization claims that more lives are lost to home fires per year than to all other major disasters.
“Education is a key part of this campaign,” Chief Prinz said. “Crews from Station 71 and Station 75 will not only help with installation, but will also show residents how to test them regularly and how to develop a plan for a safe escape.”
This Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., volunteers and fire crews are expected to make contact with approximately 480 residences spanning about 25 streets. Participation by home owners is optional.
Any smoke detectors not installed April 15 will be made available to West Chester residents on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Residents must contact the fire department to schedule an installation appointment.
To learn more, call the fire department at 513-777-1133.
Smoke Detector Reminders
The West Chester Fire Department encourages all residents to keep these general safety tips in mind when installing and maintaining smoke detectors:
- Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of the home (including the basement), outside each sleeping area, inside each bedroom, and at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances. Larger homes may need additional smoke detectors. Never remove or disable smoke detectors.
- There are two types of smoke detector technologies – ionization and photoelectric. An ionization smoke detector is generally more responsive to flaming fires – like a pan fire or the smoke from cooking. A photoelectric detector is generally more responsive to smoldering fires – like a cigarette, overheated wiring or something hot like a space heater. Install both types of alarms in your home or combination ionization and photoelectric detectors that take advantage of both technologies.
- Test smoke detectors at least monthly by pushing the test button. If a detector “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away. As a habit, it is a good practice to replace batteries when clocks change for Daylight Saving Time (“spring forward” and “fall backward”) twice each year.
- All smoke detectors, including those that use 10-year batteries and those that are hard-wired, should be replaced after 10 years (or less) if they do not respond properly when tested. The date of manufacture should be printed on the back of detectors indicating their age.
- Interconnection of smoke detectors is highly recommended; when one smoke detector sounds, they all do. (This is particularly important in larger or multi-story homes, where the sound from distant smoke alarms may not be loud enough to provide proper warning, especially for sleeping individuals.) A licensed electrician can install hard-wired multiple-station detectors. Wireless detectors, which manufacturers have more recently begun producing, can be installed by the homeowner.