Members of the Roseville Fire Department get ready to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in dozens of homes around the local community as part of an effort to foster fire safety with residents.

Members of the Roseville Fire Department get ready to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in dozens of homes around the local community as part of an effort to foster fire safety with residents.

Eastpointe and Roseville firefighters take part in smoke detector ‘blitz’

By: Brendan Losinski | Royal Oak Review | Published May 21, 2019

 State Rep. Kevin Hertel installs a smoke  detector in an Eastpointe home while Eastpointe Fire Sgt. Alton Polk, middle, and state Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer, right, lend  a hand.

State Rep. Kevin Hertel installs a smoke detector in an Eastpointe home while Eastpointe Fire Sgt. Alton Polk, middle, and state Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer, right, lend a hand.

Photo provided by the Eastpointe Fire Department

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Local firefighters rolled out this May on a mission to install free smoke detectors in homes in communities across Michigan.

It was part of the statewide MI Prevention program begun by Michigan Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer. Both the Eastpointe and Roseville fire departments took part and were able to visit dozens of homes.

“It was outstanding,” said Brian Kanigowski, the Roseville fire marshal. “All our citizens were very receptive and pleasant on-scene. We gave them a lot of tips. We checked their dryers and other potentially hazardous equipment, as well as installing the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.”

“It was a lot of work,” added Eastpointe Fire Chief Nick Sage. “Our crews enjoyed it because we got to interact with the public in a nonemergency scenario. It was very good for us.”

Both departments were able to install six smoke detectors and one carbon monoxide detector in dozens of local homes.

“In Eastpointe, we had enough to do 32 homes with six smoke detectors and one carbon monoxide detector in each home. Now we are planning for another round of another 32 homes,” Sage said. “We’ve got a waiting list of people who are requesting them. I don’t think we’ll do a blitz like we did on May 10, but we’ll hopefully install more over the course of the summer before Thursday, Aug. 1, when the program ends.”

“We are still doing some installations, but we have done 55 so far,” said Kanigowski. “All of them were off-duty at the time and volunteered to do this. Most were done on May 10, but we did a few in the days since, if people weren’t available.”

The push for encouraging fire safety, and smoke detectors in particular, in Eastpointe and Roseville is a direct response to several fires in the last year in both communities that led to fatalities.

“After the tragedies we had last year with seven fire fatalities, and all of them had no working smoke detectors in the home, the only thing we can do is have a program like this and bring the focus of the community to fire safety,” Sage said.

“So many people had outdated smoke detectors — some 20 years old,” added Kanigowski. “We are making slow but steady progress. Our goal is to make sure every resident has working smoke detectors.”

Officials in both departments believe the MI Prevention program has been a huge success and will continue. Both departments plan on signing up again as long as it’s offered.

“The trick is to keep this going,” Kanigowski said. “We want people to check their detectors, or help Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa out. We’ll also tell them about any potential electrical hazards in their home, such as outlets, or pizza boxes on top of stoves. We checked one resident’s dryer vent, which had become disconnected, for instance. This sent lint throughout the house, which was a very easily missable fire hazard.”

Those in Roseville interested in learning more or about any future opportunities to get free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed can call Fire Prevention Officer William Ciner at (586) 445-5458. Those in Eastpointe can call the department at (586) 445-5055.

“If anybody is interested, all they have to do is contact their local fire department and we can get them on the waiting list,” Sage said. “Back in the ’60s and ’70s, fire prevention was a real big topic, and we need to get back to that. It’s more important now than ever.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.

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