SERVPRO donates smoke detectors to Dowagiac Fire Department

DOWAGIAC — SERVPRO of Cass and St. Joseph Counties is doing its part to keep communities safe from house fires.

The company, located at 1444 Kdf Dr. in Three Rivers, donated 108 smoke detectors to the Dowagiac Fire Department Wednesday.

“We can fix just about anything after fire damage,” said SERVPRO of Cass and St. Joseph marketing director Steve Meyer in an October interview. “But we can’t bring back lives lost due to fires. This is extremely important to us.”

The fire department, located at 302 Wolf Ave., and the police department, located at 241 S. Front St., will have smoke detectors available to the community free of charge. Those needing assistance installing a smoke detector can call the fire department at (269) 782-9563, and a fireman will install it free of charge.

The fire department will be planning events throughout the summer. SERVPRO will accompany the department to the Juneteenth Celebration from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.

The importance of smoke detectors was made all the more clear in March when two area residents were killed in a house fire. There were no smoke detectors present in the home.

Below are safety tips provided by the Dowagiac Fire Department:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology including multi-sensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

The department also provided the following fire facts:

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level. Smoke alarms should be connected, so when one sounds, they all sound. Most homes do not have this level of protection.
  • Roughly 60 percent of fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

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