Heating systems have been working continuously all winter and as the heating season draws toward a close, a late-winter check of safety issues is in order for homeowners and local fire departments can help. Free smoke and carbon monoxide detectoor are available from all fire departments in Barry County, as well as those in Lake Odessa, Bellevue, Caledonia and Clarksville. Yankee Springs Township and Wayland fire departments also provide the free alarms and installation.
Applications for the detectors are available at each fire department and the Barry County United Way website at www.bcunitedway.org. Fax the filled out application to 269-945-4536, drop it off at your fire department or mail to Barry County United Way, 231 South Broadway, Hastings. 49058.
The responding fire department will call to set a time to come to the residence and install the units to National Fire Protection Association recommendations and manufacturer’s instructions.
The firefighter will also check the batteries in other devices and recommend the number of detectors needed in a home.
The Yankee Springs Township/Wayland Fire Department responded to two chimney fires in one week, pointing up the need for regular inspections of woodburners for creosote buildup.
The program is sponsored by Spectrum Health Pennock, Southside Pediatrics, Hastings Kiwanis and Barry County United Way. Those outside of the Barry County coverage area can contact the Red Cross in Grand Rapids, which has a similar program.