Lowe's donates smoke detectors for community safety
A donation from a local retailer has an important Kinston Department of Fire and Rescue community outreach program back on its feet.
Through this program, seniors and low-income citizens are able to contact the department to receive a home fire safety check and a working smoke detector. According to Capt. William Barss, however, there was a budget shortfall that left the department without funding allocated to buying smoke detectors. Once the department’s stockpile of previously purchased detectors ran out, Barss said they continued to provide them when needed, but at the cost of other budget areas.
The department reached out to local businesses, and Lowe’s of Kinston stepped up to provide 100 free smoke detectors. Barss said his department will have these available to those who are in need during the next year. During the last two years, he said, Kinston Fire and Rescue has provided at least 75 smoke detectors to the community.
“A home fire safety check helps residents locate the ideal place for smoke detector installation and teaches them how to properly install smoke detectors,” according to a press release from the Kinston Fire Department. “In addition, firefighters teach residents how to properly ensure the smoke detector is working each month and what to do if and when the alarm sounds.”
In addition to this ongoing program, Barss said the department is teaming up with the American Red Cross on Feb. 16 for a smoke detector blitz event for the southeast area of Kinston from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
“During the event, firefighters will go out house to house and … knock on their doors and see if their smoke detectors are working,” Barss said. “They’ll be able to replace them if they are 10 years old or older, and if not, replace the batteries and make sure they are in working order.”
Barss said officials will also provide fire safety education to those reached during the event. He added that new fire chief Damien Locklear organized the event as part of his focus on being community-oriented and to show how much the department cares for its citizens.
To contact the Kinston Department of Fire and Rescue for a home fire safety check and smoke detector service, visit their website at www.ci.kinston.nc.us/448/Fire-PreventionPublic-Education-Communit .