CHVFD Smoke Alarm Campaign Keeps Capitol Heights Families Safe

Since April 2014, the members of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department and career staff from Station 5 have visited over 1,000 homes in our first due response area to install smoke alarms. The alarms, new 10 year long life battery smoke alarms, were provided by a Fire Prevention and Safety grant from FEMA/DHS to the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department.

Through this campaign, we’ve installed over 500 alarms in homes in our community. Almost 5% of the homes had no working smoke alarms 14% had alarms that were not operational. These alarms included alarms that were outdated, non-working or without batteries.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “operable smoke alarms substantially reduce risk of death in residential fires; and property losses are significantly less.”

The Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department takes a proactive approach to fire safety by conducting these door to door activities before a tragedy occurs. Our first door-to-door smoke alarm activity in 2003 and 2004 highlighted the need in the community for increased protection. This project was similar to the current one, except that it relied on a limited number of smoke alarms that were donated for use throughout the entire county. “We’re fortunate to have grant funding to support this new campaign, which will provide up to two free 10 year alarms per home. It also provides educational materials that support the use of smoke alarms and home fire escape plans,” said Jennifer McClelland, CHVFD Fire Marshal.

The project, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, has been well received by the community and also helps our firefighters. “These alarms will alert families and firefighters earlier, which will help prevent both civilian and firefighter injuries and deaths,” said CHVFD President James McClelland, Sr.

Crews will continue installations in our area, so look for us on your street or view updates on our Facebook page in the coming weeks. If we left you a door hanger, please call or email us to schedule your installation.