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Halesite Fire Department to Distribute Free Combination Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors to District Residents in Need

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Halesite Fire Department is pleased to announce that it will be distributing combination Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors with long life batteries to residents of the Halesite Fire District later this year. Recipients of the free devices will be those who are at the greatest risk for loss of life from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

This initiative is made possible due to a $25,220 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant awarded to the Halesite Fire District from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on May 24, 2013 through its Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. As noted in FEMA's Award Memo to the Halesite Fire District, "The purpose of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program - Fire Prevention and Safety Grants is to provide funds to national, State, local or community organizations that are recognized for their experience and expertise with respect to fire prevention or firefighter safety programs and activities".

In response to the award, Halesite Fire Department Chief Dan McConnell stated, "I am delighted that Halesite's fire prevention grant application was approved because detectors that alert residents to smoke and carbon monoxide save lives when properly installed and maintained".

Chief McConnell added, "In the immediate aftermath of Super Storm Sandy, the Halesite Fire Department experienced first-hand the impact of wide-spread and prolonged power outages within our community. Hard wired smoke alarms were rendered ineffectual to those without alternative means of power. That, coupled with increased dangers from power outages due to downed wires, use of generators, use of candles, etc. suggested that homes within the Halesite Fire District could benefit from a combination Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detector with long term battery life".

In conjunction with the guidelines accompanying the grant, Halesite will be distributing the combination Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors to those who are at the greatest risk for loss of life from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. In particular, Halesite will be giving priority to homes with people over 65 or children less than 14 years of age. Halesite plans to begin distributing the combination devices to District residents at its Fire Prevention Open House on October 6, 2013. This will occur during National Fire Prevention Week (October 6 - 12, 2013) at Halesite's headquarters. A lottery system will be used if the demand for detectors is greater than the supply that can be purchased through the grant.

While detectors do not completely safeguard residents from the dangers of fire and carbon monoxide, they have proven to be life-savers. To be effective, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests that detectors like smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

That said, residents should be vigilant about making sure detectors are working. According to the NFPA, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries. Detectors should be tested monthly and outdated detectors replaced.

For more information about Halesite's Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detector initiative, contact Chief Dan McConnell at 631-427-1910.




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