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Time to check smoke detector batteries

IFD, Red Cross has free detectors available

Since this is the weekend to change your clocks forward an hour because of daylight saving time, people are reminded to check their smoke alarm batteries too.

“It’s always been an easy reminder that the fire department uses — when it’s time to change the clock, it’s time to change the batteries in the smoke detectors, too,” said Ironton Fire Department Chief Mike Mahlmeister. “The batteries don’t last that long and you want to make sure your batteries are fully charged. Anything can happen, anything can fail. You want to make sure you are well protected.”

Mahlmeister said he finds it head scratching that the department goes to house fires and finds that the residents don’t have a smoke detector to protect themselves.

“They are relatively inexpensive,” he said. “And they do so much to warn people that there is a fire or smoke. A smoke detector can save a life.

For people who don’t have a smoke detector in their home, Mahlmeister said that the Ironton Fire Department does have some free ones for Ironton residents. The IFD received a grant about a year ago to buy smoke detectors.

“We still have a supply of those on hand for the citizens of Ironton,” he said. “We will be happy to come to their home and install them to make sure they are properly installed.”

To have the IFD install one in your home, call 740-532-0043.

“The ones we install come with a 10-year battery, so that takes away the need to change the battery,” Mahlmeister said. “So, if we have installed in your house, you don’t have to change the batteries when you change your clock, however, it is a good time to press the test button and make sure it is working order.”

Mahlmeister said the American Red Cross would also assist people who don’t have a smoke detector.

In fact, in November, the Ohio River Valley Red Cross celebrated the 5,000 installation of a free smoke alarm in the past four years. It is part of the Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide Red Cross program that started in 2014.

The Red Cross will install the free state-of-the-art smoke alarm in a home that either doesn’t have one or has a smoke alarm is over 10 years old. Red Cross volunteers will also provide fire safety information and help develop fire escape plans.

For an appointment, call the Portsmouth Area Red Cross at 740-354-3293.

“There really is no reason to not have a smoke detector with the availability of free ones that agencies give out,” Mahlmeister said. “It’s really mind boggling that people don’t make the effort to get one.”

 

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