Sure, anyone can wait until Daylight Savings Time to replace the batteries in their smoke detectors. But in Terre Du Lac, some residents are getting a jump on replacing smoke detectors altogether, thanks to their local fire department and Red Cross.
Terre Du Lac Fire and Rescue is joining the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide effort to work over the next several years to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from the most common disaster people face in this country — home fires.
As part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, Terre Du Lac Fire and Rescue helps teach people about fire safety and helps install residential smoke alarms where needed. The campaign focuses on increasing the use of smoke alarms and encouraging everyone to create and practice fire escape plans. The Red Cross offers a Home Fire Escape Plan worksheet online at redcross.org to aid in planning.
Terre Du Lac Fire Chief Jonathan Moore said the partnership began a few months ago and is going well.
“We want to support the community by joining this effort to teach people about fire safety and help install some alarms in homes that need them,” he said. “To date, we have about 25 homes that we’ve helped and we’re booked into October, so it’s been a pretty big success for us.”
Moore said there’s no charge for the service, just a little time — a 10-minute talk — and installation of up to four detectors in a dwelling. The detectors come with 10-year batteries. The program is limited to residences, and is only for people who live in the home or apartment — it’s not intended for rental owners.
According to the Red Cross, the Home Fire Campaign has already been credited with saving a number of lives, since hundreds of thousands of smoke alarms have been installed in homes throughout more than 4,100 cities in the U.S. since the program’s inception in 2014.
Seven people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly; 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day; and more than $7 billion in property damage occurs every year.