Boy Scouts encourage safe detectors

Published 9:28 pm Saturday, March 5, 2011

Next week, Suffolk residents will be setting their clocks one hour ahead so they won’t be late to church, school and work.

However, they should also remember to pay attention to another appliance in their homes — their smoke detectors.

Boy Scout Troop 1929 of West End Baptist Church is helping by selling batteries as a fundraiser, and also installing them for elderly and disabled residents as a service project. “It’s an important message that we’re also trying to get out there,” said Cindy Fegley, committee chair for Troop 1929. “Almost every day, there’s a new news story about someplace in Hampton Roads having an apartment fire or house fire.”

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The troop is encouraging Suffolk residents to change their batteries when they change their clocks, or at least test the alarms. Even alarms that are hard-wired into the home’s electricity still have backup batteries, Fegley said.

“It’s something that I think is overlooked, especially with construction now doing the hard-wiring of alarms into the home,” she said. “We hope that everyone will take heed of the message that we’re trying to make and make sure they’re checking their smoke alarms.”

While changing the batteries on their alarms, families should ensure they have enough smoke alarms in their homes. Detectors should be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping areas and on every level of the home, including basements. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one-third of fatal fires occur between midnight and 5 a.m., when most areas are likely to be occupied.

While residents are paying attention to fire safety in their home, it’s also important to make an escape plan.

“We would encourage them also to put in place an escape plan for their family,” Fegley said. “They need to not only make the plan, but practice it themselves.”

The troop is selling its batteries for $10 for three, with bulk pricing available for property managers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In addition to changing the batteries, the troop will even recycle the old ones.

If the troop doesn’t visit your house, find out how to get batteries by calling 334-2464 or emailing