Feature Photos

Firefighters, Rotarians team up for safety project

By From page A3 | October 30, 2013

El Dorado Hills engineer/paramedic Dave Ward changes batteries in a smoke detector while Explorer Jared Gotro watches Saturday morning. Every year fire department staff teams up with El Dorado Hills Rotarians for this project. Village Life photo by Noel Stack

Door bells rang loud in El Dorado Hills’ Four Seasons community Saturday morning as El Dorado Hills firefighters, Rotarians and youth volunteers stopped by to make sure seniors had fresh batteries in their smoke detectors and CO monitors.

This long-stading project has kept hundreds, if not thousands, of families safe over the years. This year teams brought in fresh batteries, extra smoke detectors and CO monitors to dozens of homes — all free of charge.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said resident David. “I’m not as adept to climbing ladders as he is (gesturing to engineer/paramedic Dave Ward) so I tend to put it off. I feel a lot safer now.”

“This is a wonderful program,” added his wife Ann.

El Dorado Hills fire officials urge anyone who’s having a problem with their smoke detector or CO monitor to call the department’s non-emergency line at (916) 933-6623.

“We’re happy to help,” Ward told the residents he visited, adding that he’d much rather help someone change a battery or replace a smoke detector than respond to them falling off a ladder or needing rescue from a fire.

Cal Fire recommends homeowners change smoke detector and CO monitor batteries once a year. They should be vacuumed as well to prevent the buildup of dust, dirt and little insects inside the alarms as this can trigger false alarms. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tips:

  • Test your alarms once a month and clean your alarms once a month or as needed
  • Replace batteries once a year or when the alarm signals (“chirps”) the end of the battery life
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions if you have a 10-year smoke alarm which uses a long-life lithium battery
  • Replace your smoke alarm at least every 10 years
  • Replace your CO alarm at least every five years
  • Never remove batteries from your alarms
  • Never paint over your alarms
  • Practice fire drills or exit drills so everyone understands what to do when they hear a smoke or CO alarm go off.

For more information visit fire.ca.gov.

Noel Stack

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