WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The Westfield Fire Department, along with the American Red Cross and the Westfield Council on Aging (COA), are working together to get more working smoke detectors in homes this month.
The three entities are having a “Smoke Detector Blitz,” as Tina Gorman, director for the COA called it, on July 24. The event will be taking place to try and put working smoke detectors in homes in Westfield that need them, specifically homes that were built prior to 1975. Sign-up is through the COA and although that is scheduled to end today, July 14, Gorman said that people can still sign up through the end of next week.
“This is a huge opportunity for us to get smoke detectors in homes that need them,” Westfield Fire Deputy Chief Eric Bishop, said.
The groups will be installing into homes 10-year sealed smoke detectors for free that are provided by the American Red Cross, similar to the ones that were installed during an event earlier this year at the Hampton Village on Southampton Road. During that event, Gorman said that approximately 40 smoke detectors were installed.
According to a flyer for the event provided by Gorman, you are eligible for the smoke detectors if your home was built before 1975 and your smoke detectors are older than 10 years old.
“We’re really trying to target those older homes that either don’t have any detectors at all or are rendered pretty useless at this point,” Gorman said.
She also said that there is no age requirement for the requests and you can also make requests for people you know.
“If someone is in a situation where they need detectors or if you know someone that needs one, call for them,” she said.
“We will do everything we can to get everybody on the list,” Bishop said. “This time we’re opening it up to anyone.”
Gorman said that the list will be prioritized by the Westfield Fire Department, and anyone who is not tended to during the July 24 event will be kept on a list to be tended to at a later date.
According to Gorman, the inspiration for the event came after two people perished in a Park Street fire last month.
“This particular house did not have working detectors so that was the impetus,” Gorman said.
According to the State Fire Marshal and Westfield Fire Chief Mary Regan in a press release, there were no working smoke detectors in the home on Park Street.
To sign up, call the COA at (413) 562-9624.