HAMPTONVILLE — The West Yadkin Fire Department recently was awarded a grant from the Office of the State Fire Marshall. Lt. Brandon Renegar said the grant provided smoke alarms and other fire prevention materials that will be distributed primarily to senior citizens within the West Yadkin fire district.
“This program is important to us because we have a high number of senior citizens that live in this area and that’s something we know just from being out and about in our area,” Renegar said. “Our biggest goal beyond fire prevention is fire safety. If we can prevent a fire before it happens, that’s one of our biggest goals. Statistics say that unfortunately, fires happen, but we are going to do our best to provide materials, such as the smoke alarms, which is one way to keep a home safer.”
Five community meetings will be scheduled at area churches to share important fire safety information. The materials in the grant package also included information and items geared toward injury prevention and general home safety, Renegar said.
Once the five meetings are held, senior citizen residents of the West Yadkin fire district will be eligible to request a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector. Firefighters from the department will come to the resident’s home to install the device.
Renegar said that they sometimes see smoke detectors installed incorrectly so by doing the installation themselves, they can be sure they are installed properly and in the correct location in the home.
Other items that will be given out as part of the grant include oven mitts, nightlights, rulers that double as an oven rack pulling device and handouts about home heating and cooking safety. The grant also included the necessary equipment for the firefighters to use when installing the smoke detectors. A member of the West Yadkin Fire Department attended an eight-hour training class about the materials provided in this program.
Renegar said this is the second year the West Yadkin Fire Department has received this grant, but this year’s program was more involved.
“It’s just a way they are trying to better the program to reach everyone and even though it is targeted towards senior citizens and older adults, it doesn’t mean that because you live in a home that may have middle aged, young people or children that you’re not eligible. It’s for anyone, but the main focus they provided educational materials for was senior citizens, because recent fire statistics for injuries and unfortunately, fatalities, have shown that the older adult population has been the largest percentage of victims lately.”
Once the community meetings are scheduled, additional information will be posted on the West Yadkin Fire Department’s website www.westyadkinvfd.com and its Facebook page.
Kitsey E. Burns can be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.