City offering free fire detectors | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | November 24, 2016 5:00 pm
Last Updated: November 22, 2016 at 10:33 am
The Walterboro Fire Department is implementing two programs to provide residents with smoke detectors.
One program begins immediately and is fueled by 120 smoke detectors provided to the fire department by ServiceMaster Inc.
The fire department will offer one smoke detector per family until the supply provided by the company is depleted.
Walterboro Fire Department Driver Operator Josh Tuten said residents can pick up a smoke detector at Station One, located behind the Walterboro City Hall, during regular business hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Tuten said the only restriction is that those receiving the free smoke detectors must be city residents.
Those obtaining the smoke detectors will be asked their name, address and phone number. That information will be necessary, Tuten explained, so the fire department can contact them if a recall is issued on the smoke detectors.
In the second week of January, Tuten added, the city fire department will conduct the second phase of its smoke detector blitz. Those smoke detectors were purchased through a $2,500 grant provided the fire department by the management and employees of the Walterboro Walmart.
In addition to the 50 smoke detectors, the grant money was used to purchase 14 Streamlight Survivor LED flashlights for firefighters. The flashlights are attached to the firefighters’ bunker coats, allowing for hands-free use.
Firefighters thanked the local Walmart for providing the lights and smoke detectors to help protect the residents of the community. Thanks were also offered to ServiceMaster for their donation.
In the second phase on-duty firefighters will be going door-to-door in areas of the city where the department has experienced a lot of residential fire calls and offer residents a free smoke detector. Those units will have a lithium battery that has a 10-year life. Firefighters will install the smoke detectors distributed.
The smoke detectors being given away at the department’s office use regular batteries.
Officials said that those batteries should be replaced during the spring and fall time changes. Tuten said the firefighters distributing those smoke detectors will be offering some tips on where and how to install them.
Tuten said that the fire department hopes to continue obtaining grant funds for the distribution of free smoke detectors in the coming years. “Eventually we would like to canvas the whole area,” he said.
Over the years, the Walterboro Fire Department has put a lot of time and effort into fire prevention and Tuten said the smoke detector give-aways are the latest of those initiatives.
That continuing effort that lead the National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company to present the Walterboro Fire Department a 2015 Life Safety Achievement Award.
The Walterboro Fire Department was one of 160 fire departments across the United States to receive the award for recording zero fire deaths in 2015 or reducing fire deaths by at least 10 percent during the year.
In additional award, recipients documented active and effective fire prevention programs as well as a clear commitment to reducing the number of house fires in the community.
Although residential fires account for only 20 percent of all fires, they result in 80 percent of all fire deaths.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also sent a note to Walterboro Fire Chief Wayne Lake congratulating the fire department on the award.
“It’s a great day in South Carolina when you, our every day heroes, receive recognition for your hard work and commitment to the safety of our citizens and communities,” the governor wrote.