Fire Prevention Week will be Oct. 8-14 and the Pleasant Township Trustees in Madison County will be celebrating by handing out free smoke detectors to residents of the township who live within the county. They have partnered with the Tri-County Fire Department in Mount Sterling and will be handing the detectors out starting Monday, Oct. 8 at 7 a.m. at the station.
Township Trustee Gary Neff said they have never done anything like this and wanted to make sure they did something to celebrate Fire Prevention Week.
“We have started with 100 smoke detectors and will hand them out to residents who come to the fire station throughout the week,” Neff said. “Since we’ve never done this before, we weren’t sure where to start. But if we run out, we can take people’s names and information down and get one to them later.”
There will be a limit of one per household and residents are welcome to pick them up at the fire station between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will also be firefighters handing out detectors on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 8 a.m. to noon.
To receive the smoke detectors, residents are asked to bring proof of residence either in the form of a driver’s license or utility bill.
“There may be a lot of people in the community that don’t have a smoke detector,” Neff said. “Every house should have at least one and, depending on the size of the house, two or three.”
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an entity of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, there were more than 100 fire-related deaths in residential homes in Ohio for 2016. So far in 2017, there have been 75 deaths but the number of reported fire-related incidents in a year can rise to more than 1,000.
“When you hear about fires in the news, be it in Columbus or other cities, it’s almost always related to a lack of smoke detectors or one of them not working properly,” said Neff. “This is just something we can do to give back to the community.” Neff added that, since this is a first-time event for the fire department, they will be paying attention to the response.
“If this is something the community finds helpful, maybe we can look at other events in the future for Fire Prevention Week,” he said. “This is just something we think is important. Smoke detectors really do save lives.”
The Tri-County Fire Department is located at 7 W. Columbus St. in Mount Sterling.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.