Servpro donated smoke detectors to Dowagiac Fire Department

DOWAGIAC — Wednesday morning, Dowagiac Fire Deputy Chief Robert Smith stood next to a tall stack of smoke detectors with a smile on his face.

“It feels like Christmas came early for us,” he said. “This is a donation we look forward to. We had actually just started running out, so this came right on time.”

As part of fire prevention awareness month, local cleaning service Servpro, will give away more than 1,000 smoke detectors to residents of Cass and St. Joseph counties. Marketing Manager for Servpro Steve Meyer visited the Dowagiac Fire Department Wednesday to donate 146 smoke detectors to the city of Dowagiac. Servpro is also partnering with other fire departments in St. Joseph and Cass counties, including the Cass Fire Department, Edwardsburg Fire Department and Marcellus Fire Department.

“We are just doing our part,” Meyer said.

Servpro is a national franchise that specializes in cleaning up water, fire and mold damage for both commercial and personal purposes. The Cassopolis branch of the business serves Cass and St. Joseph counties.

For the last six years, many branches of Servpro from across the country have been giving away 1,000 smoke detectors to local fire departments.

The annual giveaway began after a branch was called to the scene of a fire that could have been prevented with the aid of smoke detectors.

“Two people passed away in that in fire, and part of the reason is that they didn’t have smoke detectors,” Meyer said. “People often ask why we do this, and we always say that we just want to keep our community safe.”

Smith said he was grateful for the donation and that it would keep many residents safe.

“We are always happy when someone sees a need in the area and fulfills it,” he said. “Smoke detectors are our first line of defense against a fire. Obviously, we never want there to be a fire in someone’s home, but if it does happen and the family can be alerted and get out safely, that is our bottom line.”

Smith said many deaths and injuries caused by fire could have been prevented by a working smoke alarm, which is why he pushes for smoke detectors in every home and for homeowners to routinely check that their smoke detectors are working properly.

“Smoke detectors are a proven commodity,” he said. “They have saved countless lives.”

Those in need of a smoke detector can contact their local fire department to receive free smoke detectors from Servpro or they can contact Servpro directly at (269) 273-8777. The Dowagiac Fire Department will also be giving out smoke detectors at the Under the Harvest Moon Festival on Oct. 13 downtown. Servpro will be at the Three Rivers Fire Department from 3 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 11 for a live radio remote. The business will be giving out smoke detectors at that time.

“We want to reach as many people as we can,” Meyer said. “I can’t stress enough how important smoke detectors can be. We want to get these in people’s hands and get them to use them.”