Free smoke detectors have been installed on Monday in several counties thanks to a collaboration between the American Red Cross, volunteers, and local fire departments.
Monday was a special day. January 16 holds a variety of commemoration activities. These all recognize Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day. Some organize parades. Others took a more hands-on approach. And decided to give something back to their community.
The American Red Cross helped organize such an action. It established a partnership with several local fire departments. And also enlisted the help of volunteers. Together, they went from house to house.
Their mission: smoke detectors. The teams analyzed and tested existing ones. And they also installed free smoke detectors in houses that had none.
For example, the Franklin and Frankfort Fire department teams set out together. 21 members joined the project. They teamed up with about 13 volunteers. These latter are part of the Red Cross teams.
Monday’s activity included various procedures. First things first, the firefighters tested existing devices. If needed, they replaced their batteries.
Or if the detectors were old, they were changed altogether. Replaced devices were 10 years or older. Free smoke detectors were installed in their place.
Of course, new such devices were placed in houses that lacked such devices. Each home received in between two to three detectors. These were placed in strategic places. The kitchen is one such place.
The existing and free smoke detectors were equipped with lithium ion batteries. This latter are considered to last longer. Approximately, they should last about 10 years.
As such, device owners do not have to change them too often. Still, they must not forget a thing. Smoke detectors should be checked up and tested. These tests ensure that they are still in a proper working order.
Vicki Ledford offered further details. She is a Red Cross disaster program manager. According to her, some homes were specifically targeted. More exactly, they are areas which have been faced with fires. Or they house children. Or they are the homes of elderly people.
The project members went from door to door. And they came equipped in case no one was home. They reportedly left behind printed information. This offered data and also a contact variant. The respective homeowners can contact the Red Cross.
Together, they can schedule a period. At a desired time and date, they can have fire alarms installed. These will also be free of charge.
Homeowners also received a few fire safety tips. For example, if they are cooking and they have to leave. The person should take something with them so as to remind them.
The free smoke detectors came from several sources. Some were donations to the Red Cross. Others were purchased directly. Money for them came from grants. These are offered by several agencies and companies.
The free smoke detectors are just one of the preventive measures.
- Any homeowner can check a home fire safety list.
- This could include the following.
- They can install smoke alarms. And these should be kept in working order.
- Smoking rules should be applied. For example, do not smoke in bed.
- Be careful when cooking. Do not leave the stove on. And don’t forget to close open flames.
- Grilling, frying and boiling food should be supervised.
- Furniture and flammable materials should be kept away from heat sources. These include heaters, fireplaces, and baseboards.
- Children should be kept from playing with lighters, matches, or candles.
- Electric appliances should preferably be plunged directly into a wall socket.
These are just a few safety tips which should help prevent house fires. But as worst case scenario, residents should also develop a home fire escape plan. This shouldn’t surpass 2 minutes. Everyone should get out safely in less than that time.
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