Bellevue firefighters distributed about 300 smoke detectors on Nov. 10-11 in a door-to-door neighborhood outreach. The outreach will continue this weekend after the department receives a second shipment of smoke detectors.
Along with the detectors, firefighters will have a supply of batteries for detectors that are installed but not functioning. The Fire Department is taking action after an Oct. 27 house fire in which a Bellevue man died.
On Nov. 4, firefighters from Station 2 distributed smoke detectors to approximately 160 homes in the Lake Hills area, where the fatal fire took place. A vast majority of people responded positively to the outreach program. Many were aware of the fire, and several had already installed or tested their smoke detectors as a result.
Continuing this weekend, firefighters from all nine Bellevue fire stations will target areas with homes built before 1979, when smoke detectors were first required. There will be secondary emphasis on homes built between 1979 and 1998, since smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. (Crews will perform the smoke detector outreach while on-duty and may have to respond to emergency calls during the event.)
Firefighters who participated in the outreach Nov. 10-11 were alarmed to find that nearly a third of the pre-1979 homes they visited lacked a working smoke detector.
Firefighters and other Fire personnel will ask residents if they have working smoke detectors in their homes. If they don't, they will receive new ones and be asked to install them that day.
Residents with smoke detectors will be asked if they have changed the battery in the past year. If they need fresh batteries, the Fire Department will supply them and even help install them if necessary.
The emphasis on this project is to increase the awareness of the importance of having a working smoke detector in the home. A smoke detector can make the difference between life and death in the case of a fire, especially at night when most people are asleep.
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