Farmington, Brighton team up to provide specialized smoke alarm

Smoke Alarm Hearing Impaired
Farmington Public Safety Sergeant Reginald Madeline installs a specialized smoke detector for a local couple. (contributed photo)

Farmington Public Safety (FPS) has teamed up with the Brighton Area Fire Authority to help a local couple make their home more safe.

While investigating a May 22 fire in the couple’s condo, FPS officers learned the residents, who are both hearing impaired, did not have a specialized smoke detector. The units range in price from $150 to $180 – an expense they couldn’t handle.

As Farmington officers researched programs that could provide assistance, Fire Marshal Scott Brown learned that the Brighton Area Fire Authority had a few available. The Authority received a 2013 grant to purchase 200 LifeTone HL units, which are paired with a smoke alarm and activate when the alarm senses smoke. The unit, which looks like an alarm clock, re-transmits the alarm in a different tone and includes a device to physically shake the bed.

The Brighton Area Fire Authority provided a unit free of charge, and FPS Sergeant Reginald Madeline installed the unit. Authorities said the residents were grateful for the department’s willingness to help them secure the alarm.

“We are thankful for the assistance of the Brighton Area Fire Authority in providing this life-saving device to these residents,” FPS Director Frank Demers said in a press release. “It is our hope that these residents will have some sense of relief knowing that they have a dependable device to alert them in the event of a fire in their home in the future.”

Smoke alarm batteries should be changed twice a year, and aging smoke alarms, which typically have a 10-year lifespan, should be replaced. Farmington Public Safety offers free smoke alarms to residents who cannot afford them, and will even install the devices.