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RFD to kick off smoke detector campaign

The winter season can be a busy time for local fire departments with the use of candles and heaters, so the Russellville Fire Department will be kicking off their smoke detector program once again in the coming weeks.
Russellville Fire Chief Joe Mansell said the RFD would be doing a blitz of many city neighborhoods to make sure each home has a working smoke detector.
“Our goal is to make sure there isn’t a single home in the city of Russellville that doesn’t have a smoke detector that is functioning in their home,” he said.
“We have seen personally how beneficial smoke detectors are. In fact, several of our last fatality fires have been in homes where there either wasn’t a smoke detector present or the smoke detector wasn’t working at the time of the fire.
“They really are a life-saving tool, and we don’t want anyone to be without this kind of protection.”
Mansell said the smoke detectors are provided free of charge to those who are in need.
“When the guys come out to your neighborhood, they can either provide you with a new smoke detector if you don’t already have one, or they can provide some of the detectors that aren’t working with new batteries,” he said.
“Most smoke detectors decrease in their effectiveness after 10 years, so those either need to be replaced or the batteries should be tested often.”
Russellville Fire Marshall Steve Thornton said smoke detectors should also be cleaned regularly.
“If there is any dust that gets in the detector, it can affect the way it functions,” Thornton said.
“The sensor has to be clear in order to detect any smoke, so it needs to be cleaned often for it to be in the best working order.”
Mansell said he wanted residents to be aware of the smoke detector program so they wouldn’t be alarmed when the firefighters show up in their neighborhood.
“Anyone from our department who is participating in this survey will be in uniform and driving an official vehicle,” Mansell said.
“We want people to be aware of this so if someone comes up to their door and says they are from the fire department but they aren’t in uniform or driving one of our vehicles, they’ll know it isn’t one of us.”
Mansell said if the fire department personnel aren’t able to get to every neighborhood in the coming weeks, those who still need to receive a smoke detector or have their current smoke detector checked can call the RFD at 256-332-8761.