The Fowlerville Area Fire Department is helping residents stay safe with a free smoke alarm campaign.

Firefighter and Medical First Responder Charles Hertzler said in 1990 the average time it took a house fire to evolve into a full structure fire was 21 minutes. Today, due to synthetic building materials, that time is down to between 7 and 8 minutes. He and the rest of his department are now more than a half year into a campaign to put smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in every house. Hertzler said the alarms for are free for anyone in their service area, which includes the Village of Fowlerville, Handy Township, Conway Township, and Iosco Township. All that’s required is a filling out a form and then the department’s day crew will come out and professionally install the alarm, check it, and teach the family how to do the same.

Free alarms are something that the Fowlerville department has offered for a long time, but a recent grant by Aldi’s has allowed them to purchase more detectors than normal. For this current campaign Hertzler said they working hard to get children involved in keeping their families safe. Firefighters have been visiting kids in preschools, elementary schools, and middle schools, encouraging them to be the ones to check existing alarms when they get home. Hertzler says they are being very proactive with children, teaching them to have a safe meeting place, to never go back into a house on fire, and to leave the pets for the fire department.

Residents can make an appointment to receive their free alarm by calling (517) 223-8561 or stopping into the station. For non-Fowlerville residents, several other area fire departments offer similar programs, including Howell, Brighton, and Hamburg. (MK)