Palm Bay Fire-Rescue Teams with American Red Cross to Install Smoke Alarms
Palm Bay Fire-Rescue has teamed with the American Red Cross to install smoke alarms at no charge for residents in the mobile home communities, in areas where recent structure fires have resulted in a loss of life in homes with no working smoke alarms, and in the older areas of the City of Palm Bay. Since April 2015, over 1500 alarms have been installed in the 11 mobile home parks in the city, two townhouse complexes and for seniors who have issues reaching their smoke alarms to change batteries. In addition to providing alarms for those residents who had none in their homes, alarms that were over 8 years old were also replaced, with two alarms provided for each residence; one in the central living area, and one outside the master bedroom. A Home Fire Escape Plan refrigerator magnet, fire prevention, tornado safety and hurricane safety checklists were also provided to the home occupants.
The new alarms being installed have 10-year lithium batteries which do not require periodic replacement…the entire smoke alarm is replaced after 10 years. This is especially beneficial for senior citizens, who often have physical limitations or mobility problems accessing their alarms to check and change the batteries. In addition, many homes were found to have alarms with no batteries…when an alarm started to chirp to indicate a low battery condition, many people removed the batteries to silence them, and if they didn’t have a battery to replace it, many were left in that condition. Another issue encountered was with hard-wired ac alarms. Many of these are susceptible to false triggers, which in many cases sets off all the alarms in the house as they are wired together, and many residents just disconnected all the alarms to quiet them, leaving the residence with no protection whatsoever.
The goal of Palm Bay Fire-Rescue and the American Red Cross is to continue the program in 2018 focusing on residences in the older neighborhoods. Palm Bay Fire-Rescue is very thankful for its partnership with the American Red Cross providing this life-saving service for the residents of our community.