moke detectors only a call away

moke detectors only a call away

When seconds can be the difference between life and death, what would you be willing to pay to prevent the latter from happening?

It turns out the people of Holmes County don’t have to pay anything at all to increase the chance of survival and loss during a fire.

Local fire and EMS departments are teaming up with American Red Cross to continue the Home Fire Campaign that has provided free smoke detectors to any homeowner or renter who would like to have them installed.

This life-saving opportunity is done in conjunction with the Wayne County chapter of American Red Cross, and while the chapter provides all the free smoke detectors requested, area fire and EMS personnel welcome anyone to call in and request the smoke detectors, and the members will come to a home and install them at no charge.

The Home Fire Campaign began as a way of helping homeowners combat the destructive nature of fire by installing free smoke detectors in homes. In Holmes County, Dave Crilow has picked up the mantle of serving as a Red Cross representative through the Wayne County chapter of Red Cross.

“It’s really simple, it’s very important, and all people have to do is call their respective fire and EMS department and set up an appointment and they will come to your home and install the detectors for absolutely free,” Crilow said. “What can you get free today that will save a life? This is an absolute no-brainer for the public.”

Crilow said for many families, the thought of fire prevention and safety isn’t something they think about until a fire occurs. He said by then it is too late. He said a smoke alarm with a working battery does something no person can do, which is remain awake and alert 24 hours a day to detect smoke and fire, even when people are fast asleep.

Crilow said while the department members install the smoke detectors, the Red Cross is the driving force behind the program.

“In 2014 Red Cross created the Home Fire Campaign, and since then it’s saved thousands of lives,” Crilow said. “Critical work is made possible because of our Red Cross partners, who have helped install more than 2 million smoke alarms nationwide.”

The Red Cross smoke alarms have a 10-year life expectancy and are operated on a nonreplaceable battery. Once the smoke alarm’s use has expired, new ones can be installed at no cost, and fire and EMS personnel will install the appropriate number of alarms per household. Once the battery wears out, homeowners can call their respective departments and have them replaced, once again free of charge.

Just as importantly, the fire personnel have been trained on where to place each smoke detector.

“The fire personnel have been taught where each smoke alarm will be the most effective,” Crilow said.

Crilow went on to note that because the departments in Holmes County work so well together, this campaign has been a life-changing opportunity for those who take the time to make a call and set up an appointment across the county.

In addition to the smoke detectors, the Red Cross also is offering bed shakers for individuals who can’t hear. The bed shakers normally would cost a family hundreds of dollars, but again, the Red Cross has made them available for free.

“The Red Cross has placed a high value on distributing life-saving detectors any way possible, and by making them free, I can’t think of anything easier to protect your family,” Crilow said.

He also said while the departments come out to install detectors, that is a perfect opportunity for families to sit down and discuss other life-saving efforts like escape plans, installing safety gates and cabinet locks for those with small children, keeping hazardous materials and weapons locked and safe and more.

“These safety issues are something families should talk about as often as possible because the safety of our families is ultimately the most important thing in our lives,” Crilow said.

To receive free smoke detectors, call your local fire department: East Holmes Fire and EMS at 330-893-2117, Holmes Fire District #1 at 330-674-1926, Killbuck Township Fire Department at 330-276-0441, Paint Township Fire Department at 330-359-5003, Prairie Township Fire Department at 330-279-2552, Richland Township Fire Department at 330-377-5301 and Western Holmes Fire & EMS at 419-827-2178.

“Smoke alarms that awake people give them a much better chance of survival during a fire as compared to waking up when they actually sense the smoke,” Crilow said. “Alarms give them 5 or 6 feet of clean air to escape, compared to having no alarm, where the smoke has much more time to navigate to the level of someone sleeping.”

Winter is an ideal time to have smoke alarms installed because fires are more likely to take place in colder moths where people are using fireplaces, wood burners and heating units more frequently.

Be smart, play it safe and give your family a much better chance of surviving a fire by contacting your local fire department and requesting the Red Cross smoke detectors.

The safety that comes with working smoke detectors will only cost a family a free phone call, free smoke detectors and free installation.