Bay District Goes Door-to-Door to Install Smoke Alarms
By Board of Director Bruce Theden
June 26, 2023

The men and women of Bay District Volunteer Fire Department (BDVFD) have certainly been getting their exercise lately.

On Sunday, June 4th, fifteen members of BDVFD, along with six fire marshals and several friends of BDVFD participated in smoke alarm installation in the Patuxent Homes, Colony Square and Country Side neighborhoods of Lexington Park. We went door-to-door offering to install smoke alarms free of charge to homes that needed them. In total we knocked on over 350 doors, and installed 71 alarms. Happily, most of the homes already had working smoke alarms, but we wanted to make sure. We reviewed with homeowners the need for regularly testing their alarms and replacing them at the end of the battery’s life.

We attempted a similar installation effort on Sunday, June 11th but a motor vehicle accident (MVA) with entrapment, an apartment fire and several other minor incidents dashed our hopes. Despite our absence, our friends from the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Southern Regional Office managed to install 14 more smoke alarms for us. We plan on tackling smoke alarm installation in additional neighborhoods at a later date.

In addition to our big pushes like this, BDVFD installs more than 130 smoke alarms throughout the year.
Our efforts would not have been possible without the support of our friends. The Office of the State Fire Marshal donated 70 smoke alarms, Lowes donated 100 alarms and Island Creek Associates donated $500.00 towards the purchase of additional alarms. Their generosity helps BDVFD to keep our community stay safe.

Residents of these communities who were not home when we called, or anyone who cannot afford smoke alarms, click on this link: Fill out the form and we will contact you and arrange to install smoke alarms at no charge. Be sure to click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the form.

Smoke alarms are crucial to home safety. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) tells us that almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (41%) or no working smoke alarms (16%). In plain terms, you are more than twice as likely to die in a fire if your home does not have a smoke alarm.

The smoke alarm models with the 9-volt battery that you had to change two times a year are obsolete. The batteries in the new-style alarms last 10 years. The detector element is also good for 10 years, so at the end of the battery life, discard the entire smoke alarm and get a new one.

Don’t worry if you live outside of BDVFD’s area. All fire departments in Southern Maryland have similar programs to Bay District and will install alarms at no cost for homes that need them.