Several South Jacksonville residences are now a bit safer.
The South Jacksonville Fire Department has spent a good deal of time installing new smoke detectors in several homes throughout the village.
Fire Chief Rich Evans says within the last few years, the South Jacksonville Fire Department signed up to take part in the Be Alarmed Smoke Alarm Installation Program.
Be Alarmed is administered cooperatively between the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance (IFSA) and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM). The program distributes fire safety education materials and 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms free of charge to fire departments in the state of Illinois.
Evans says this year’s program has been a great success so far.
“A couple of weeks back, we put out to the public that we were going to be installing smoke detectors. We had an abundance of phone calls and at this time we have been to 73 South Jacksonville residences and installed 266 smoke detectors.
We still have a few appointments here in the days to come. It’s been a good deal and we are just glad to be able to help the community out and they seem to be very appreciative of it. We’ve also made a lot of the homes here in the village safer for their residents and was able to pass along some fire safety education to them as well.”
Evans says all 73 households were visited last Saturday, March 6th, and the evening of Thursday the 11th. He says the State of Illinois is requiring that the 10 year sealed battery smoke alarms be installed in all homes in the state by January 1st, 2023.
Evans says the event would not have been possible without the dedication of the men and women on the South Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Department. 14 Village firefighters participated Saturday. Evans says they split into groups and knocked out as many installs as they could throughout the day.
Evans says Be Alarmed is an ongoing free program, so there is still time if residents of the Village want to take part.
“As long as the Fire Safety Alliance and the State Fire Marshall’s Office continue the program, we will continue to be enrolled in it and always have smoke detectors on hand. So if anybody in the village is interested in it, they can message us on Facebook, or give us a call here at the fire department. Typically there is no one here so you’ll have to leave a message. We will return your phone call and get a time and date set up for you.”
To sign up for a smoke detector installation in the Village of South Jacksonville, call the Fire Department at 217-243-1913. You can also search them online at South Jacksonville Fire Department on Facebook.