MFD offers smoke detector installation
The Merrill Fire Department is once again engaging in a smoke detector installation program. The department’s goal is to establish an ongoing program that will continue to protect you and your family.
In accordance with the American Red Cross Smoke Detector program, MFD will be focusing on at-risk populations including elderly, people with disabilities, children, low income households and neighborhoods with historically high rate of fire responses.
If you are in this target audience and would like to have smoke detectors installed in your home, call the non-emergency number at the Merrill Fire Department (715) 536-2233 to schedule an appointment.
The tentative dates for installation will be July 15th, 19th, and 23rd. On the date of your appointment, MFD personnel will install up to 3 smoke detectors. After the detectors have been installed, there will be a short form completed by staff with the owner/occupants for documentation of the installation. Additionally, Merrill firefighter/paramedics will complete a home safety inspection, answer any detector questions, and test all detectors in the home.
The Merrill Fire Department is now working with the American Red Cross, who has provided 36 smoke detectors initially. The American Red Cross’ goal is to reduce deaths caused by home fires by 25% nationwide within 5 years, while MFD’s goal will be long-term protection to the citizens we serve and protect.
Below is a department press release from a 2013 structure fire, illustrating how a working smoke detector can save lives:
“On February 20, 2013 at 1250 a.m, the Lincoln County Dispatch Center dispatched the Merrill Fire Department for the report of a house fire at 706 East 7th Street. The initial response to the scene included Engine 2, Ladder 1 and Medic 1. Upon arrival the Shift Commander assumed command and reported heavy smoke pushing from the northeast side of the fire and heavy fire pushing on the northwest side of the building. The temperature was 7 degrees with a wind chill of -6 degrees at the time of the fire. The fire was being wind driven with winds from the northwest at 10 mph. All three of the occupants were sleeping at the time of the fire starting. The 58-year old male resident of the house reported he was awoken by the activated smoke detector. He opened his bedroom door and was met by heavy smoke in the kitchen area. He crawled to the other two bedrooms and woke the other two occupants. All three of the occupants self-rescued themselves prior to the arrival of the fire department.
Approximately two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Since most fatal fires occur at night, its essential that every home has working smoke alarms to provide an early warning. Working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire by 50 percent. “Check your battery and detector today; it might save your life tonight,” says Merrill Firefighter/Paramedic and smoke detector program director, Jason Hendricks.
This is one more way that the Merrill Fire Department is striving to fulfill the first part of our mission: “Preventing harm!” We believe in our fire prevention program because we see that it works. Merrill is safe community to live in because of it, so please continue to partner with us to continue our legacy of fire safety.