GRFD marks 20,000 free smoke detectors given away, planning for more

Posted at 10:49 PM, Feb 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-02 22:49:03-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- More families in Grand Rapids will be getting smoke detectors installed in their homes for free thanks to a grant awarded to the Grand Rapids Fire Department.

So far 20,000 detectors have been installed in homes across Grand Rapids over the past 20 months. Along with installing smoke detectors, the department performs a free home safety assessment to provide tips on how to prevent fires.

Deputy Chief with GRFD Kevin Sehlmeyer said generally a home should have six smoke detectors installed, but adds about a quarter of the homes the department has visited didn't have any at all.

To qualify for the program, a person must live within the city of Grand Rapids and must be the owner of their home. Installation is free and appointments can be made by phone through the fire department.

"This is voluntary, we're not coming in and forcing a fire code," Sehlmeyer said. "I think sometimes people think that we're looking for stuff to cite them, and that's clearly not what this program is about."