For the third year in a row, the Alpena City Fire Department, in partnership with the American Red Cross, participated in the smoke alarm blitz.
The department went door to door on the south side of Alpena, installing three new smoke alarms in each household, free of charge.
“It’s pretty awesome that the Red Cross gives us the smoke alarms and supplies some help, and then we supply some help from the fire department to do the same,” said Community Risk Reduction Captain Andy Marceau.
The plan was to install one hundred smoke alarms in four hours, and they exceeded that number with 123 smoke alarms in 41 homes. The Red Cross took notes on the households and discussed fire plans with the homeowners.
“We could not do this program without the Red Cross,” said Marceau. “These are ten year lithium battery smoke alarms, they are expensive, they’re not the cheap ones, so for them to give them to us, but then we install them. We don’t just hand them to people, we go in there and educate and install them, and that’s huge.”
They not only provide the smoke alarms free of charge, they take the extra step to install each one. It’s something they take pride in.
“To talk to the homeowners, talk to them about having safe ways out, close before you doze, it also creates that, ‘hey, your fire department’s out here doing something’, and the Red Cross, obviously,” said Marceau.
The station has done this for three years now, previously operating on the north side, but they decided to make a change this year.
“I said, ‘let’s switch over to the south side,'” said Marceau. “It’s just an area that we think we have more fires than normal in at times, so we kind of target that area, and when we target homes, just everyday homes. Trying to make everybody safer.”
The station went out in teams to cover more ground in order to accomplish their goal.