Springfield families will be a little safer, thanks to a donation by the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield.
The HBA on Tuesday (4/26) presented the Springfield Fire Department with 400 new FamilyGard dual ionization smoke alarms (at a retail value of approximately $4,000) to the Springfield Fire Department.
The alarms include a long-life 9V battery, and they feature test buttons for weekly testing, hinged covers, 85-decibel horns, and audible low battery indicators.
Matt Morrow, the HBA’s CEO, said the group’s board of directors decided to make the donation after City Council passed a resolution in February supporting the fire department’s “Year of the Smoke Alarm” campaign.
“We just wanted to be a part of this,” Morrow said.
City Council recently declared this the “Years of the Smoke Alarm.” The fire department installs smoke alarms free of charge for residents that request them. The department typically installs about 400 alarms a year, but has set a goal of installing 1,100 in older homes this year.
This donation will help with that.
Firefighters have installed 444 since January, Fire Chief David Hall said, calling the HBA’s “generous gift … very timely.”
The HBA of Greater Springfield shares the Springfield Fire Department’s commitment to expanding access to life-saving smoke alarms and wants to help the department meet its ambitious goal. Modern building codes require hard-wired smoke detection systems to be installed in all new homes. The requirement – along with other modern building practices and codes – has contributed to a substantial decrease in fire deaths over the last thirty years. In fact, statistically, building a new home is one of the most fire-safe decisions a person or family can make. But it is equally important to make sure that older homes – built before smoke detectors were required by code – also have working smoke detectors. These older homes are where the vast majority of residential fire deaths still occur – and they are where our attention should be focused to save lives. Working smoke alarms are proven life-savers. They are the most effective, efficient, and cost-effective method to prevent fire deaths and loss of property.
The donation is a 100% private-sector initiative (no tax dollars were utilized for the donation). HBA members Meek’s and Metro Appliances and More partnered with the HBA to purchase smoke detectors and batteries to donate to the cause. The detectors will be installed by Springfield Fire Department employees. HBA builder members have also volunteered to help with delivery and installation in whatever capacity can be most helpful.