Lake County Fire Rescue, the Montverde Fire Department and The American Red Cross partnered up today to install new smoke alarms at the Montverde Mobile Home Park, targeting households with lower incomes and those where the elderly need assistance.
“We felt it would be great for the area,” said Montverde Fire Chief Kevin Rausch. “This is a great program that will enhance fire protection and give the residents early warning.”
Montverde firefighters, alongside Lake County Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Merkle and Firefighter/EMT Dustin Dart of Station 83 installed the alarms at homes in the community. The American Red Cross supplied the alarms through a grant, and the event was spearheaded by Alex Glenn, disaster workforce engagement specialist with the American Red Cross.
In January, a Florida statute took effect requiring all newly installed residential smoke alarms to have a non-removable, non-replaceable battery that powers the alarm for at least 10 years.
“The law aims to phase out old smoke alarms in favor of the new, worry-free type that last for a decade without the need to replace batteries,” said Lake County Fire Rescue Fire Marshal Capt. Michael Vitta. “Residents may purchase new smoke alarms at any home improvement store, but if they still have the battery-operated kind, they should be sure to change their batteries twice a year.”
The smoke alarm blitz in partnership with the American Red Cross was the first of its kind in Lake County, with additional events to be planned as new smoke alarms become available.
For questions about residential smoke alarms, or for help changing a battery, call Lake County Fire Rescue at 352-343-9458. For more information about Lake County Fire Rescue, visit www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFireRescue, www.lakecountyfl.gov/firerescue, or www.twitter.com/lakefirePIO.