From the city of Hayward:
HAYWARD – Last year, the Hayward Fire Department responded to more than 17,000 calls, almost 80 percent of which were for medical emergencies. Time and time again, firefighters rushed into homes and noticed the same troubling issue: missing or inoperable smoke detectors.
That may soon change, thanks to an innovative partnership with the Hayward Rotary Club. In honor of Fire Prevention Week, the two organizations have announced a simple, yet savvy program to get working smoke detectors into more Hayward homes by using a trusted and highly recognizable home delivery system: Hayward firefighters themselves.
Thanks to a gift from the Hayward Rotary Club and Case Industries, the Hayward Fire Department will begin carrying more than 400 new detectors and 1,000 batteries on its vehicles – just in case. If firefighters walk into a home during a medical emergency and notice a missing or “chirping” detector, they will offer to install new batteries or provide a new detector free of charge, on the spot if appropriate. The department is also accepting sign-ups for installation.
“Keeping working smoke detectors is the single best thing you can do to protect your family and your home,” said fire department Capt. Don Nichelson. “Still, we see far too many homes without the proper smoke detectors, or with chirping or dead devices hanging on the ceiling. This program aims to change that. We’re already on the scene; it makes perfect sense to fix the problem right then and there if we can.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. The risk of dying in a home structure fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke detectors, yet many homes are left unprotected by alarms that are missing, disconnected or loaded with dead batteries.
“The Hayward Fire Department does an outstanding job of protecting the community it serves,” said Paul Martin of the Hayward Rotary Club. “We’re excited to help them advance their mission with this simple, common sense program. If one of these smoke detectors saves a single life, that’s all that matters.”
The program, dubbed “Smoke Detectors … Just in Case” is a joint effort of the Hayward Fire Department, Hayward Rotary Club, Case Industries and Sprinklersfitters Local 483.