Smyth County

Chilhowie Fire Department receives grant

Chilhowie Fire Department receives grant

CHILHOWIE, Va. - A local volunteer fire department received a grant that will help the community in case of a fire.

A smoke alarm could save your life in a fire. "In case of a fire or any kind of smoke we could hear the alarms and be able to exit the house easier," says Todd Gillespie, who just had more smoke alarms installed.

That's why Gillespie tells us he took advantage of a program at the Chilhowie Fire Department to install smoke alarms for free. "Otherwise I probably wouldn't have thought of installing a fire alarm in every room, but that again adds another measure of safety," adds Gillespie.

The grant to install free smoke alarms is a part of the national Focus on Fire Prevention Foundation and assistant chief Josh Davidson tells us these grants are very important. "To provide these type of prevention programs for volunteer and combination departments like we are its vital to receive grants like this," says Davidson.

Davidson says they have multiple smoke alarms you can choose from, including one for the hard of hearing. "Those alarms that we install are 10-year sealed units. You don't have to maintain. All you have to do is check them every once in a while, check to see if they're working," adds Davidson.

Davidson encourages everyone to take steps to protect themselves like getting a smoke alarm, having an escape plan, and checking your home to make sure all of you electrical outlets aren't overloaded. "Unfortunately we're really good at fighting those fires. We can always improve on preventing those fires to start with. If we can prevent a life lost through installing a few smoke alarms and recommending safety issues people can change in their homes this grant program has far exceeded what it was intended for," says Davidson.

Meanwhile, Gillespie would encourage everyone to get smoke detectors in their home. "I think it's no cost to the home owner and again provides that measure of safety that every family should desire," adds Gillespie.

We learned the Chilhowie Fire Department has already installed ten smoke alarms this month. If you live in Smyth County and would like a free smoke alarm, contact the Chilhowie Fire Department at (276) 646-3131.

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