Free smoke detectors to be available to all residents

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To receive a free smoke detector, call or visit the Taylor County Judge-Executive's office

By Zac Oakes


 Free smoke detectors will soon be available to anyone who would like to have them in Campbellsville and Taylor County, courtesy of a program through the American Red Cross.

A meeting was held last week to discuss the program involving local government officials, including Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young and Taylor County Judge-Executive Eddie Rogers, Campbellsville City Council member A.J. Johnson, and also Taylor County firefighter John Harris and Campbellsville Fire Chief Chris Taylor, among others also in attendance. 

The program will provide free smoke detectors to anyone who fills out the form to have them placed in their home. 

In order to receive a free smoke detector from the fire department, the process is pretty simple, Harris said. 

Those interested can come into the Taylor County judge-executive’s office in order to fill out a form and then turn it in while there, or Harris said people would be able to call the county judge-executive’s office where they can provide the information contained in the form. 

The Taylor County Judge-Executive’s office can be reached at (270) 465-7729. 

Harris hopes fire department members will be able to begin installing the detectors in mid-April, targeting a date of April 20. 

Taylor said Campbellsville Fire-Rescue members would install detectors to residences within the city, while Taylor County Fire Department will handle residences in the county. 

Fire department members will install the detectors in the home for anyone who would be interested, but they recognize that not everybody wants other people coming into their home, so they will provide the detectors—outside of a box in order to prevent people trying to return them to a store—for people to install in their homes. 

Harris added that it doesn’t matter if the person owns their home or if they rent it. He said they would even provide them for people living in non-traditional housing, such as those who may live in a garage. 

“Basically, if they have an address, we will make sure they get at least one,” Harris said.

Harris also acknowledged that the number of smoke detectors needed per home will vary, and they will take that into consideration when providing the smoke detectors to each home. 

The detectors are powered by batteries with an estimated 10-year lifetime. 

“They should last a long time,” Harris added. 

If anyone has any problems with the detectors, such as any malfunctions, Harris said they will be willing to replace the detector for free. 

One of the problems, Harris and Taylor said, is that many homes in the county do not have a working smoke detector. For some, there are not any smoke detectors in the home, and for others, there are detectors, but they do not function properly or do not have working batteries in them. 

Taylor and Harris estimated that somewhere between 60 and 65 percent of the calls they respond to for residential fires do not have a working smoke detector in their homes. 

However, they mentioned that there have been many instances, more than they can recall, where a working smoke detector in the home made all the difference. 

That is one of the reasons for implementing the program locally. 

“If it just saves one life, then that will make it all worth it,” Harris said.