If you live in eastern Whitley County, you are likely eligible to receive a free smoke detector, which firefighters will come out and install for free.
Patterson Creek Volunteer Fire Chief Pee Jib Paul said the program is a partnership with the Red Cross, which is providing the smoke alarms, and his department, which is installing them.
“It is all free to the people that need them,” Paul noted. “We are going to install them for free in our area.”
Each smoke alarm has a 10-year battery.
Smoke alarms are essential in preventing fire deaths.
The death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was more than twice as high (12.3 deaths per 1,000 fires) in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms present, or had an alarm that did not operate, as it was in homes with working smoke alarms (5.7 per 1,000 fires), according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Patterson Creek firefighters started installing the new smoke alarms on Jan. 1, and so far have installed six smoke detectors.
Up until this point the smoke alarms have primarily been installed at the homes of Patterson Creek firefighters and board members as the fire department works out the kinks in the system.
Paul anticipates the number of smoke alarm installations increasing as word about the program gets out.
The number of smoke alarms installed in a home will vary depending on the size and layout of the home. For instance, a three-story house would probably get three smoke alarms installed, which a one-story home might receive one to three smoke alarms.
Patterson Creek firefighters will primarily be installing the free smoke alarms in the department’s service area.
Those living in eastern Whitley County interested in signing up for the free smoke detectors should contact Paul at (606) 703-0930, Assistant Chief Nick Smith at (606) 703-0931, or board member Lee Carpenter at (606) 549-1815.
After people contact the volunteer fire department, Paul said that the smoke detectors might be installed anywhere from one day to one week later depending on a number of factors, such as the availability of firefighters to install the alarms and the schedule of the home owners.
“We still have to work our public jobs,” Paul added about the volunteer firefighters.