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Bellaire VFD secures grant for smoke alarms

T-L Photo/CARRI GRAHAM Members of the Bellaire Volunteer Fire Department announce that they recently secured a grant that will allow them to install smoke alarms into owner occupied residents in Bellaire on Tuesday. Pictured is Raymond Penyak, left, and fire chief Joshua McMahon.

BELLAIRE — Members of the Bellaire Volunteer Fire Department have secured a $2,500 grant that will allow them to install smoke alarms in 10 percent of homes in the village.

FM Global, a global mutual insurance company based in Johnston, Rhode Island, that specializes in loss prevention, gives out a total of 10 grants each year for fire prevention.

“Some places only got $1,000, some places got $500, we got the full amount,” Bellaire VFD Lt. Raymond Penyak said about securing $2,500.

“We do have a lot of structure fires here and a lot of low-income people. Hopefully these will help keep them safe in the event they do have a fire.”

The smoke detectors will go into residents’ homes that are owner-occupied, he said.

“The reason for that is Ohio state law and the village of Bellaire Code Enforcement Officer Dicky Flanagan. What he does is inspections. Rentals are required by law to have smoke alarms,” Penyak said.

Flanagan said, according to state law, every apartment or rental property must have a smoke alarm installed in the immediate vicinity outside of all sleeping rooms, as well as inside each sleeping room. Alarms must be clearly audible in all bedrooms within the unit when all internal doors are closed. Alarms are to be on each floor, including the basement.

The fire department purchased 189 smoke detectors from ICR Equipment Rental Sales and Supplies in Bellaire using the grant money. Penyak said ICR not only gave the department the best deal on the detectors, but also threw in a few extras at no additional charge.

There are a total of 1,800 homes in the village, 740 of which are rental occupied, while the rest are owner-occupied, Penyak said.

Penyak stressed the importance of smoke alarms and their regular maintenance.

“It’s very important. Some things that people don’t realize is smoke detectors only last for ten years. So these smoke detectors are ten year smoke detectors with a ten year battery in it, you don’t have to change the battery. We respond to calls all the time all the time in the fire department, some places have smoke detectors, some places don’t, some places don’t have working batteries. So these are basically installed, we’ll write the date on the bottom of it, give ’em to you and ten years later you get a new one.”

Bellaire home owners are invited to the BVFD at noon, August 31 to obtain a free smoke detector.

“We’ll have a form for them to fill out and they just tell us how many bedrooms they have in their house and we’ll either install them, if they need it, or they can take them home,” Penyak said.

The department has also offered to install the alarms for those who need to have them installed or the detectors may be taken home and installed by the home owner.

The fire station is located next to Burger King in Bellaire. Residents must bring an ID to receive the free smoke alarm.

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