The Mount Clemens Fire Department is giving away free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to community members in need. Since the program started on Jan. 28, just over 15 gift bags have been given away. Pictured from left, firefighter Anthony Kirkum, administrative assistant Ann Wyszczelski, and Lt. Nick Candela hold some of the bags that contain one or both detectors, batteries, as well as informational materials and fun stuff for the kids.

The Mount Clemens Fire Department is giving away free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to community members in need. Since the program started on Jan. 28, just over 15 gift bags have been given away. Pictured from left, firefighter Anthony Kirkum, administrative assistant Ann Wyszczelski, and Lt. Nick Candela hold some of the bags that contain one or both detectors, batteries, as well as informational materials and fun stuff for the kids.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Mount Clemens firefighters giving away free smoke alarms, CO detectors

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published February 21, 2019

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MOUNT CLEMENS — Thanks to several local sponsors and supporters, Mount Clemens Fire Department Local 838 is giving away free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to the community it serves.

“To us, the safety of our citizens is priority number one,” Mount Clemens Fire Department Lt. Nick Candela said. “We pride ourselves on dedicated service to our great city, and now, here is another service that we provide.”

Candela, along with firefighters David Buscaino and Alex Zachow, started brainstorming the idea of a smoke detector program in August 2018. Candela said it wasn’t long before they had enough sponsors and donations to get the idea off the ground.

On top of the donations received from residents, the program also garnered sponsorships from local service organizations, including the Lions Club, the Rotary Club,  the Kiwanis Club, the Optimist Club and the Goodfellows. The Meijer store on Groesbeck Highway in Clinton Township also stepped up to help, as did Mount Clemens-based business Printing by Johnson.

The program launched on Jan. 28 after the fire department purchased 250 smoke detectors and more than 150 carbon monoxide detectors, with extra funding to purchase more when necessary.

Now, if a resident needs one or both detectors, they simply call the fire station and make a request. Candela said each gift bag contains the detectors and extra batteries, educational materials about smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and family escape plans.

“There will be some goodies for the kids too, such as fire hats, pencils, coloring books and stickers,” he said. 

Candela said fires start more quickly and spread faster today because many homes contain much more plastic materials than they did in the past. He added that the Mount Clemens Fire Department responds to more than 3,000 emergencies each year.

“Preventing fires is your first line of defense in staying fire safe,” he said. “If a fire does occur, smoke detectors are your first warning system to alert you that there may be a fire.

“The smoke from a fire will kill somebody before the fire does. Everybody needs smoke detectors in their home.” 

Each resident requesting the detectors will also need to fill out a quick form stating they received them. 

“This will help track how many we give out and be able to plan for future purchases,” Candela said. 

He said it’s the sponsors and supporters that have made the program a success.

“Without them, this program would still be an idea,” Candela said.

Michael Ferron, president of the Mount Clemens Lions Club, said his organization was more than willing to help out.

“Helping the community is what we do,” he said.

Ferron said the only caveat the Lions asked is that the club’s $500 contribution be used to purchase smoke detectors for those who are hearing impaired. In addition to having an alarm, these detectors have a strobe light and/or a bed-shaker attachment.

To request a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector, call (586) 469-6840.

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