IVY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County firefighters are installing smoke detectors, free of charge, for neighbors along Morgantown Road in Ivy, and across the area.
Crews responded to a blaze on Morgantown Road Monday, February 3. One person died. Upon further investigation, emergency responders said the home was not equipped with smoke detectors.
“Having a working smoke alarm can be the difference between life and death,” Albemarle County Fire Rescue Program Educator Tyler Dean said.
In the days following the fire, emergency responders went door-to-door to establish relationships with neighbors, as well to install smoke alarms and replace batteries.
“One of the big things people don’t realize that one or two smoke alarms is not enough for a home,” Dean said. “You really want one in every room that someone may sleep in.”
Firefighters installed smoke detectors in several homes on Morgantown Road, including Dick Harrington’s.
“They knocked and I invited them in, and they just immediately went to work,” Harrington said. “I think that a lot of us forget that the batteries don’t last forever.”
Harrington already had one smoke detector installed, but firefighters replaced the batteries and added another detector for good measure.
“It seems like the fire department is helping us be responsible,” Harrington said. “I think that's really cool alerting us and actually coming in and replacing things.”
Emergency responders recommend changing batteries every six months, and testing the detector on a monthly basis.
“When a lot these fires occur, people are sleeping. What's going to wake you up by the time you smell that smoke or you feel that heat, it may be too late,” Dean said.
The county’s free service to install or check on smoke detectors can be found online, or by calling one of the Albemarle County fire stations.