Thorsby Fire Department grant could launch smoke detector campaign

Published 11:20 am Thursday, February 22, 2018


Thorsby Fire Department is applying for a grant that will aid in a smoke detector campaign to ensure Thorsby residents are equipped to detect potential fires in their homes.

The application was approved by the Thorsby Town Council in a meeting on Feb. 19.

Chief Lee Gunn of TFD said that in combating house fires in Thorsby, he noticed that several “close calls” for residents may have been avoidable had the smoke detectors or their batteries been replaced.

Newer versions of smoke detectors feature 10-year long battery life, Gunn said.

Nonetheless, Gunn said it is wise to check smoke detectors and ensure they are updated and working properly.

As funds are available, TFD campaigns smoke detector installations by purchasing and then providing smoke detectors to Thorsby residents in a large-scale distribution, Gunn said.

During its last campaign 10 years ago, TFD distributed about 300 smoke detectors.

The grant application underway could fund a 2019 campaign should it be awarded to TFD.

Regardless, Gunn said TFD keeps smoke detectors on hand should any Thorsby resident need one. Residents in need who live outside town limits can also request one.

Smoke detectors require strategic placement to be effective.

“You should have one outside of every bedroom door … and then one on each level,” Gunn said.

“One of the mistakes people make is putting them in the kitchen,” he said. “It could never work in a kitchen, and it’s just not a place that you want to have it.”

Gunn said smoke detectors in kitchens tend to alert so frequently that residents remove batteries and forget to return them — at which point the smoke detector is useless.

In the case of a house fire, residents should leave the premises and maintain a safe distance. Reports can be made to 9-1-1 for assistance.