Niles offering free smoke detector installation

Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

To help save lives and raise awareness of this issue, the local American Red Cross chapter is partnering with the Niles Fire Department in a program that will provide the free installation of smoke detectors in city residences.

“Smoke detectors are so important to keeping our residents safe from fire that we will take any help like this we can get,” said Chief Larry Lamb, of the Niles Fire Department.

Installation will take place May 14. To schedule an in-home visit, call (269) 353-6180 ext. 7181.

According to international code, homes should have a smoke detector on every level that is occupied, including finished basements and attics.

Lamb said people should install a smoke detector inside every room used for sleeping and a second one outside of each separate sleeping area that is close enough to be heard when the bedroom door is shut.

“The bedroom units are also important as kids have been known to perish in fires that they created in their bedroom with the door shut,” he said. “People commonly think that they will wake up to the smell of smoke. This thought is dead wrong. Chemicals, including carbon monoxide in the smoke, tend to put people into a deeper sleep. Working smoke detectors greatly increase the chances of surviving a house fire.”

For optimal safety, Lamb recommends installing interconnected smoke alarms so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound.

The Southwestern Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross and AmeriCorps is providing funding for the smoke detectors.

The same program was administered last year in Niles Township.

The Niles Fire Department offers free smoke detectors and installation as a service to City of Niles residents year round.

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