Fire Department to Provide Smoke Detectors

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The Athens Fire Department is trained to respond to all sorts of fires, but now they are part of a new attempt to prevent fires from claiming lives.

Starting Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the fire department will provide up to two smoke detectors per household to anyone who needs them.

They are able to provide the detectors because of a donation of 50 from Lowe’s Home Improvement.

“We’ve never had this amount to hand out,” said Lt. Dan Riley, who will be helping with the program.

The program is even more important to firefighters as statistics about children’s deaths in fires rise. Riley said according to statistics, 15 children died as a result of a fire in Ohio, and this year has already seen 11 casualties.

“(Statistics state that) 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes…with no working smoke detectors,” Riley said.

Not only will the department be providing the smoke detectors, but it is also offering to install the detectors for city residents.

“If you live in the city, we will come out and install it for you,” Riley said. “But these detectors aren’t just for city residents, they are for whoever needs them.”

If anyone outside the city limits needs help installing their smoke detectors, Riley suggested they call their local fire department.

Waterloo Volunteer Fire Department announced Friday on its Facebook page that they were teaming up with the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office to put smoke detectors in homes. They are also offering to install the detectors in homes that request it.

Riley said residents should use the upcoming Daylight Savings Time as a reminder to change their smoke detector batteries along with their clocks.

The fire department is always looking for more ways to raise awareness and increase safety in the community. Riley is hoping to find a business willing to donate carbon monoxide detectors, so the department can help residents install even more safety measures.

Residents can pick up detectors at the Athens Fire Department, located at 61 Columbus Road and 454 Richland Avenue. Smoke detectors will be given while supplies last.