City to distribute free smoke detectors to Montgomery households

Updated: Jul. 27, 2017 at 7:31 PM CDT
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(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange announced, on Thursday, a new initiative that he said could have a positive impact on thousands of Montgomery households.

Montgomery Fire and Rescue has teamed up with Montgomery EMA, local military volunteers, Hands On River Region and a local charity group called InTouch Inc. to distribute and help install smoke detectors to anyone who needs one.

The project is funded by an anonymous donor who is being represented by InTouch Inc.

"That is true commitment to wanting to make your community better," Strange said. "We're so indebted, and we're so grateful for that generosity."

According to MFR, there have been 16 fire-related deaths in Montgomery in the last three years. Only three of the homes in those cases had smoke detectors. In the last year, MFR has responded to 211 structure fires. Lt. Jason Cupps said it is only getting more crucial for households to have smoke detectors.

"With what the materials are built out of these days, you don't have as much time as you used to," Cupps said. "You need that loud alarm in the middle of the night to make you aware and help you get out safely."

He also said it is important for them to be functioning properly.

"A lot of times people may get annoyed and they take the battery out, or they may be expired," Cupps said. "They have a life span of 10 years at the max. So, this is for anyone who needs a new smoke detector if it's not working, or they don't have one at all. This program is going to be absolutely amazing for the city."

MFR plans to team up with the other groups to visit neighborhoods across the city to consult with homeowners about whether or not they need new smoke detectors. The program starts Wednesday Aug. 2 near the intersection of the Northern Boulevard and Lower Wetumpka Road and extends all the way out to Amanda Lane. The team will visit another neighborhood every other Wednesday following the start date.

Maxwell Air Force Base and Hands On River Region are providing volunteers for the program. According to Montgomery EMA Director Christina Thornton, FEMA will provide volunteers for the first three events. She said there will always be a need for more volunteers for this program.

If you would like to help, you can call 334-625-2339.

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