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Carbondale Fire Department, Red Cross Install Free Smoke Alarms

CARBONDALE -- While many folks were off for the holiday, the Carbondale Fire Department and the American Red Cross spent Martin Luther King Day helping others. They partnered up to install free smoke alarms for residents in Carbondale.

Active smoke alarms are especially important during the winter months.

"There are a lot of fires, more in the winter months with the heating systems and alternative heating sources that people try to use that cause concerns for us, so everybody trying to make sure they have smoke detectors working in their residence is a big help," Carbondale Fire Chief Chris Pezak said.

"It's all about giving back," Dave Skutnik, director of communications for the American Red Cross said. "This whole program is about giving back to the community, and that's certainly something Martin Luther King Jr. stood for and preached about very, very often."

There were about nine teams of volunteers roaming around and braving the cold temperatures, including a group from UGI. The purpose of this act of kindness came full circle when they found a smoke alarm in a home that dated back to 1977.

"I'm very grateful," Susan Bullard of Carbondale said. "I thought you guys had an emergency out there, someone was trapped in a building or something. I'm really glad I ran into you. Thank you."

Chief Pezak says that not only is it important to have smoke alarms on each floor of your home but to also have an escape route planned in case a fire breaks out.

"Check your batteries every year," Pezak said. "Check your batteries twice a year. To be safe and have a smoke detector installed on your house for the minimal cost it is and today, there is no cost. It's a very good idea to keep up on."

This was the third year for the Day of Service event.

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