SMOKE ALARMSSmoke alarms can save you and your family's lives by alerting you of a fire. If there is a fire in your home, smoke alarms give you the precious, extra seconds to get out.
It is important to install a smoke detector on every floor of your residence. It's also a good idea to place a detector in every bedroom. Remember, smoke travels up and out, so place detectors where the smoke will go first.
You should test every detector once a month. You can test your alarm by pressing the test button to ensure the alarm is working. Replace the battery immediately if the alarm is not working. A good rule of thumb for changing your batteries is to change them when you change your clocks each spring and fall.
The life of a smoke detector is about 10 years so replace any detector that is over 10 years old. There are new smoke detectors with 10-year batteries.
To learn more tips about smoke alarms, please see the National Fire Prevention Association's website.
Smoke Alarm Installation Program
The Kentwood Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau offers FREE smoke alarms to any Kentwood resident in need of this life-saving device!
To receive your smoke alarm, you must be a Kentwood resident:
- We will install two battery-operated smoke alarms.
- These can be in addition to AC, or hard-wired, smoke alarms, but is not a replacement.
- If you just need new batteries, we can install them for you.
Please note: We will not install smoke alarms in rental properties. It is required by code for your landlord to have working smoke alarms in your rental unit. If you do not have a functioning smoke alarm, please contact your landlord immediately.
Please complete this online form to request installation, or contact the Kentwood Fire Prevention Bureau at 616.554.0827 or via email to inquire.
CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS
Free carbon monoxide alarm installation is offered for families of children 14 and younger in Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming. For information, call 616.241.3300. The Healthy Homes Coalition is providing the detectors with a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a colorless odorless gas produced by incomplete combustion. CO can be produced by a number of things including: an automobile, a faulty furnace, or a faulty water heater.
CO attaches itself to the red blood cells while displacing the oxygen that is normally carried by these cells. This depletes the amount of oxygen being delivered to the body's vital organs. CO builds in the body cumulatively over time. Therefore, a small dose over a long period of time can be just as dangerous as a large dose over a short period of time.
Do I really need a CO detector?
Yes. A CO detector can alert you and your family to this otherwise undetectable lethal gas. Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, and drowsiness. These are all the same types of signs and symptoms of a typical cold. You may go to bed to relieve this "cold" not realizing that you have been poisoned by CO. Just like in this case, a CO detector could save your life.
What do I do if my CO detector starts going off?
Do not panic if your detector starts going off. Complete a check of yourself and your family to make sure everyone is fine. Find out if anyone is feeling ill such as dizzy, lightheaded, headache or fatigue.
If someone is not feeling normal, evacuate the house and call 911. Do not open the windows, leave the house closed so the Fire Department can monitor CO levels. The Fire Department and ambulance will be dispatched with medical equipment to treat your symptoms and CO monitoring devices to survey your residence.
If everyone is normal and has no complaints, do some investigating. Start with the detector, make sure it is operating properly and check the battery. Look for a date stamp and information about what different sounds mean. Often, a single “chirp” every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed.
CO alarms also have “end of life” sounds that vary by manufacturer. This means it’s time to get a new CO alarm. Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and the unit must be replaced.
You may call 911 and request the Fire Department investigate, or call a licensed contractor to detect the problem and fix it.