Fire department offering free smoke detectors for residents

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:30 am on Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Crystal Township Fire Chief Scott Brundage, left, shares a laugh with fellow firefighter Scot Fitzpatrick as they evaluate a smoke detector, which are available to residents for free. — Daily News/Cory Smith

CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP — One smoke detector at a time, firefighters at the Crystal Township Fire Department are hoping to help residents be better prepared for a potential house fire.

In partnering with the Red Cross, Crystal Fire Chief Scott Brundage said the department is now offering as many as three smoke detectors per household — at no cost to the homeowner — to be installed by the fire department.

“They (Red Cross) bring them to us, and we have them available for free,” he said. “It’s a great partnership.”

The Red Cross is providing Crystal Township, along with other fire departments in the county including the Belvidere Township, Maple Valley Township, Montcalm Township and Lakeview District fire departments, with up to three smoke detectors per home, and firefighters will install them in the homes for free.

Each department has as many as 30 smoke detectors on hand, which are replenished by the Red Cross as they are distributed to residents. Per a requirement from the Red Cross, firefighters will also help homeowners complete an accompanying safety plan and provide instructions for proper care and maintenance.

“I would advise people to get one, it gives them a warning,” Brundage said. “It helps get people out. People could be asleep, and I think it’s a smart thing to have in the home.”

Brundage said in his time as a firefighter he has come across a number of homes, “lots of times,” where there are no smoke detectors in place or the batteries have been removed.

“The nice thing about these are, they have a 10-year battery,” he said. “Old smoke detectors, many of them could only be guaranteed for five years. They’ve come a long way.”

The Crystal Township Fire Department is working in collaboration with the Red Cross to provide free smoke detectors to township residents.

Residents who live within the department’s fire coverage area, which includes Crystal Township and portions of Ferris and Evergreen townships, can obtain the free smoke detectors by signing up at the Crystal Community Center at 217 Park St.

In regards to the escape plan, which must be created and documented as part of the install procedure, Brundage said those details are equally as important as the smoke detectors themselves.

“It’s just a smart thing to do, creating an escape plan. The kids, they learn that in school,” he said.

For Crystal Township firefighter Roger Gooding, who is often at the Community Center to address concerns in person as the township’s Department of Public Works supervisor, residents should not hesitate at signing up for the smoke detectors.

“They’re a life saver,” he said. “I’ve got seven of them in my own home, two in the basement and five upstairs. If you don’t have a smoke detector, I mean, they are free, and we’ll even install them. What more could you ask for?”

For more information, call the Crystal Township Fire Department at (989) 235-3411.

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