North Shelby Fire District puts fire prevention grant to use

North Shelby Fire District firefighter Brandon Mills installs a smoke detector in a mobile home in the Cahaba Valley Mobile Home Park on Lee Street Drive. (Contributed)

North Shelby Fire District firefighter Brandon Mills installs a smoke detector in a mobile home in the Cahaba Valley Mobile Home Park on Lee Street Drive. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY—The North Shelby Fire District, with the help of two local businesses, made life safer for a number of residents.

The North Shelby Fire District was recently given a $1,000 fire prevention grant from the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on Valleydale Road, which was used to purchase 83 smoke detectors with 10-year lithium ion batteries from the Lowes on U.S. 280.

“They really cut us a deal,” North Shelby Fire District Chief Buddy Tyler said.

On Saturday, July 25, firefighters went door to door in the King’s Mobile Home Park on Cahaba Valley Road and the Cahaba Valley Mobile Home Park on Lee Street Drive offering to install free smoke detectors.

“Everyone that answered the door allowed us to install a smoke detector in their mobile home,” Tyler said.

Firefighters were able to install new smoke detectors in 70 homes.

Smoke detectors are key to fire safety, especially since many modern household items are made from flammable material, Tyler explained.

“You only have about three minutes before the fire reaches the flashover stage,” Tyler said. “Immediate notification is a must, three minutes is not a long time.”

Although crucial to fire safety, many homes either do not have smoke detectors or do not have working smoke detectors, Tyler said, noting they are often “not high on the priority list.” The short battery life of many smoke detectors is a primary factor in non-functioning smoke detectors.

“People remove the battery and never put one in,” Tyler said. “We decided to go with the 10-year (lithium ion batteries) because it takes out the human element.”

The remaining smoke detectors purchased with the grant were installed at firehouses throughout the North Shelby Fire District, but Tyler said the North Shelby Fire District is happy to help anyone install smoke detectors in their homes.