BY HANNAH LESTER
The Opelika Fire Department is launching a new program that will install smoke detectors in any Opelika resident’s home — free of charge.
The department is partnering with the Alabama Fire College through its program Get Alarmed, Alabama!, along with the State Fire Marshall’s Office and InTouch, LLC.
“When [Shane Boyd] assumed the position of fire chief here, in our regular staff meetings, the idea of a community initiative for smoke detector installation came about in staff discussions,” said Opelika Fire Inspector Bob Parsons. “And he tasked [us] going forward and reinitiating that program.”
Parsons said that anyone interested in receiving detectors in their home should call and the inspection department will come for a consultation.
“Myself and the inspection department come and take an assessment of the home’s interior’s layout to determine the exact amount of smoke detectors that would be required to meet any type of code requirement for the city,” Parsons said. “So we try and not just give one smoke detector, we try and make a good overall assessment of the home’s needs and install the appropriate amount of smoke detectors.”
The detectors are provided by those three groups, Alabama Fire College, State Fire Marshall’s Office and InTouch, LLC, while the Opelika Fire Department’s contribution is to install the units.
“Statistics will bear out the fact that homes with smoke alarms … there are more lives saved and more properties saved through the detection of fires through the use of smoke alarms,” Parsons said. “… What’s driving us is just general public safety and the acknowledgment that there are members of our community whose economic situation is such that they can’t afford some of these basic necessities and we as a department try and recognize that and fill that shortcoming in a person’s life.”
Any residents interested in receiving smoke detectors can call the department at 334-705-5300 to schedule a consultation for their home.