ERIE Supports Those In Need With Smoke Detectors
“They don’t make’em like they use to” is a saying that rings true for a lot of things. In terms of fire safety, it applies as well. Dating back as far as the 1960’s, a person had up to 20 minutes to escape a house when fire broke out because of the slower burning materials used in home construction.
Today, because home construction incorporates of a lot of plastics and vinyl, the amount of time a person has to escape a fire is down to less than 5 minutes. So, it stands to reason that the importance of having a smoke alarm that can activate within seconds of a fire starting becomes of the utmost importance.
Over the past decade, the Erie Bureau of Fire Prevention & Investigation supplied city homeowners who needed smoke alarms with free ones through a federal grant. The grant covered 8,000 alarms back in 2013.
After a similar grant was approved in 2017, the city purchased another 4,000 smoke detectors for distribution to city homeowners in need. A portion of those were distributed to those with hearing impairments. Hearing-impaired detectors include strobe lights as alerts or vibrating sensors that could be placed under a mattress or a pillow.
These distributions have been a part of an Erie Bureau of Fire project in partnership with the Erie County Department of Health. The project, called “Protect the Place You Call Home,” began in 2006 as a way of identifying city residences without alarms. At the time the project started, about half of the houses visited by city firefighters didn’t have alarms, didn’t have enough alarms or had alarms that didn’t work. The Erie Bureau of Fire has given out about 22,000 smoke alarms since 2006.
Free smoke detectors are available in Erie and the surrounding areas through the American Red Cross of Northwestern Pennsylvania. If you are in need of an alarm, please call the Red Cross at (814) 240-7667 and provide your name, phone number and address. A volunteer crew will be sent to assess your home and provide and install alarms.
For fire, smoke or soot damage restoration, call SERVPRO of West Erie County at (814) 806-1987. We provide 24-hour emergency services and can help to make it “Like it never even happened.”