Councilwoman Purvis partners with Louisville Fire Department to check smoke detectors in the Shawnee Neighborhood

January 24, 2020

Louisville – Councilwoman Donna Purvis is partnering with the Louisville Fire Department to focus a public safety effort in the Shawnee Neighborhood. The goal; to check homes for working smoke detectors.

“I want to thank these dedicated firefighters for joining me. We want to make our community safe,” says Councilwoman Purvis.  “Sadly, we had a tragic loss of life recently due to a fire on Larkwood Avenue. When firefighters arrived, they could not find a working smoke detector in the home.”

On Saturday afternoon, the Councilwoman and firefighters from Truck 4 Engine 22 on Riverpark Drive will walk door to door on Larkwood Avenue to perform home safety inspections. 

This will include checks for smoke alarms as well as inspection of any device currently in the home. If needed, a smoke detector will be installed this same day in a minimal amount of time. These smoke detectors have lithium batteries which have a ten-year battery life. 

Studies have shown the benefits of a working smoke detector because smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

“Today’s fires burn hotter and faster, making early notification of a fire more important than ever. Thirty years ago, you had about 15 minutes to escape a house fire. Today, it’s 3 minutes due to the materials of modern furniture, plastics and room design,” says Major Bobby Cooper of Louisville Fire. “Working smoke alarms increase your chance of survival when seconds count.”

The group will walk from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. tomorrow weather permitting. This will be an ongoing monthly/bi-monthly partnership.

The Councilwoman says the tragic loss of constituent, Tilford Bell, to a kitchen housefire in December is the motivation for this effort.

“A smoke detector goes a long way in alerting you to a fire in your home. It’s important it is checked and if it’s not working, replace it,” says the Councilwoman. “I want everyone to be safe.”

The Louisville Fire Department provides and installs smoke alarms to residents in the Urban Services District for free. Test yours or contact 311 to request a free home safety check and smoke detector installation.

For more information about future walks for safety, contact Councilwoman Purvis’ office at 574-1105.