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Smoke detectors available for all Warren County residents
Homeowners throughout Warren County may now benefit from a free smoke detector program offered by McMinnville Fire Department. Established in 2013 for city homeowners, the program has recently been expanded to include homeowners throughout Warren County. Pictured are McMinnville Fire Chief Kendall Mayfield, right, and Lt. Jamie Brown.

McMinnville Fire Department’s free smoke detector program is now available to all residents who live in Warren County.
“Our program is now countywide,” said McMinnville Fire Chief Kendall Mayfield. “County residents can now participate, as well as those inside the city. Since the program began in 2013, we’ve installed approximately 600 smoke detectors.”
For homeowners without a smoke detector, the department partnered with the state fire marshal in 2013 to obtain free smoke detectors that contain a 10-year lithium battery. The devices must be installed by department employees and were available to city homeowners only. Because the smoke detectors come from grant money, restrictions say they cannot be installed in rental houses.
In an effort to extend the program countywide, the department is establishing a third partnership, that with Warren County Emergency Management director Jim Cunningham. Homeowners who are non-city residents are asked to call Cunningham to register for the program.
According to National Fire Protection Association:
• In 2013, there were 1.24 million fires reported in the U.S. The fires caused 3,240 deaths and $11.5 billion in property damage.
• In the U.S., fire departments responded to a fire every 25 seconds and one structure fire was reported every 65 seconds.
• One civilian fire death occurred every two hours.
• Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. The smoke alarms had missing, disconnected or dead batteries.
• Working smoke detectors cut the changes of dying in a fire in half.
The rule of thumb says a fire doubles in size every minute. When there is a fire, smoke spreads even faster. Working smoke alarms give early warning so people can get outside quickly. They should be installed inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, as well as in the basement.
The department encourages everyone to test smoke detectors regularly and change batteries when the time changes in the spring and fall. Even though the program’s devices have a 10-year lithium battery, testing is still recommended to ensure they are functioning properly. Free smoke detectors through the program are limited to three per household.
During the month of October, the department will be participating in “Fill the Boot” and asking residents to make a donation to Susan G. Komen. Last year’s effort generated more than $1,900. Firefighters will be at Autumn Street Fair on Oct. 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Applebee’s on Oct. 3 from 4 to 8 p.m., Walmart on Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tractor Supply Company on Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Foodland Plus on Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Kroger on Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the Civic Center on Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to noon.
To sign up for the program, visit McMinnville Fire Department during one of the Fill the Boot events. Also, city residents may call 473-3435 or 473-6739. Homeowners who are non-city residents are asked to call Cunningham at 473-8446.
Callers will be asked to provide name, address and phone number.