Firefighters take prevention seriously

Smoke detector blitz has saved lives in the past

On a frigid snowy night in January 2016, a Fort Dodge family was startled by the sound of smoke detectors going off in its Riverside Street Northwest home. It was not a false alarm. There was a serious fire in the house, but everyone escaped unharmed thanks to the warning provided by the smoke detectors.

Those smoke detectors had been installed a few months earlier by Fort Dodge firefighters and volunteers from the American Red Cross during the first of several events called smoke detector blitzes.

During a smoke detector blitz, firefighters and other volunteers go door-to-door in a neighborhood or community. At each home where someone answers the door, the firefighters and volunteers offer to check the smoke detectors. If the detectors need fresh batteries, they put some in. And if there are no smoke detectors in the home, they are promptly installed.

As the blaze on Riverside Street Northwest demonstrated, a smoke detector blitz can save lives.

The smoke detector blitz concept came to Badger on Saturday.

Firefighters installed new detectors where they were needed, and discovered other residents already had working detectors.

We thank the volunteer firefighters of Badger and everyone else who pitched in for this potentially life-saving effort.

And we have a suggestion for area residents: If a firefighter ever arrives on your doorstep offering to check your smoke detectors, let them do it.

Better yet — don’t wait. If you have the ability to check your smoke detectors and replace non-working ones, do it.