EATON — Members of the Eaton Fire/EMS division teamed up with the Dayton-area chapter of the American Red Cross as they visited over 300 houses to offer the installation of smoke detectors as well as advice on home fire preparedness on Saturday, July 18.
The crew walked through the Maplewood subdivision and surrounding areas as they installed 60 smoke detectors and changed the batteries in 13 others.
“I’m pretty excited about this. I think this is the first time within our county that we’ve done a program like this,” said Eaton Fire Captain Brian Smith. “It’s possible because of the Red Cross. I know I can’t afford, in my budget, to buy this many smoke detectors.”
The campaign is an initiative by the Red Cross to reduce deaths and injuries in home fires by 25 percent by equipping these homes with the proper safety items and education to do so. It is operating off a 1.2 million dollar grant and will run until 2020.
“We’ve had some success near this geographical location where we installed and then there was a fire within a week or so. We know it’s working in some respects,” said Randy Earl, the Dayton-area chapter’s disaster program manager.
The Dayton-area chapter’s executive director Laura Seyfang puts the issue simply: “The best way to escape a home fire is to know the home is on fire, and the best way to know if there is a fire is to have a smoke alarm.”
The effort is part of a larger movement – the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign – that was created by the Red Cross. So far, the organization has developed more than 15,000 household fire escape plans nationally along with the installation of 34,000 smoke alarms and the replacement of 6,000 smoke alarm batteries. At least seven lives have been saved as a result.
The Eaton event was done in partnership with Henny Penny Corporation, the Preble County CERT Team, and Skyline Chili as well.
Jeremy Erskine may be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH