CLAREMONT — October has been a busy month for the Claremont Fire Department. Last night the Claremont Firefighters Association held its 134th Annual Fire Prevention Parade to the delight of residents and families. The parade, held every October in celebration of National Fire Prevention Month, has become one of Claremont’s signature events.
More notably, the Claremont Fire Department has recently outfitted 36 homes in Claremont with interconnected smoke alarms and is working with the American Red Cross to install alarm systems in several more.
“One of my main goals has been to outfit more homes in Claremont with smoke alarm systems,” said Claremont Fire Chief Bryan Burr.
Modern homes are required by law to have interconnected smoke alarm systems, designed so that if one alarm in the house is triggered all the alarms will sound. But older homes that predate the law are not required to have these systems.
In August Claremont was one of 20 communities to receive a FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety Grant for the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal, from a new program called Get Alarmed NH.
With the money the Claremont Fire Department was able to outfit 36 Claremont homes with interconnected alarm systems.
“Our firefighters personally went to the homes and installed the systems,” Burr said.
Eligible recipients were households who included a young child, the elderly or someone with a disability.
Burr recommends that each level of residency and every sleeping room in a house has a smoke alarm.
Additionally, this month the Claremont Fire Department is assisting the American Red Cross with the organization’s own program, which will install more smoke alarms in local homes, under Red Cross’s nationwide initiative called Sound the Alarm, Save a Life.
Earlier this month volunteers from the Claremont Fire Department, students from the Claremont School District and the American Red Cross canvased Claremont neighborhoods, placing knockers on front doors. These knockers provided information for residents in need to receive free interconnected smoke alarms. On Oct. 26 members of the Claremont Fire Department and the NH Electric Coop will volunteer time to install the systems in homes of participating residents.
“We are making small strides,” Burr said. “But we still have a long way to go. We have responded to too many fires that resulted from not having functioning smoke alarms,”
Several months ago, Burr began a fund to purchase more smoke alarms through the department, raising money entirely through local donations and grants. The fund has so far raised $3,000,
At the City Council meeting on Wednesday Mayor Charlene Lovett delivered a proclamation to the Claremont Fire Department in recognition of Fire Prevention Week, thanking the department for all their work in the community.
“We really appreciated the attention and recognition,” Burr said. “We don’t look for it, but it’s always nice to be recognized.”