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Published: Tuesday, 12/4/2012

After fire, Sylvania Township advises residents to check smoke detectors


A long-time practice of the Sylvania Township Fire Department was newly introduced to residents off of Holland-Sylvania Road near where the department had recently fought a house fire.

Firefighters generally wait until the following weekend after a fire and then canvass the area offering to test residential smoke alarms and offer to replace defective ones, provide batteries if they find some no longer functioning or supply working smoke detectors to homes which had none.

The practice elicited a letter of appreciation from a couple who were visited after a house fire on Greenacre Road.

The couple who wrote the letter to John Zeitler, township administrator, noted that they have lived in the township for 26 years and recalled that they had received “incredible service and response when we needed emergency service.”

They added that many people are quick to whine and complain, “but you need to know that the service township employees provide this community is exceptional.”

Mr. Zeitler said he appreciated getting a letter of congratulations and noted that the fire department regularly goes beyond what is expected.

Fire Chief Jeffrey Kowalski was pleased with the recognition. One reason for the timing of the service is that residents feel a heightened sense of awareness after a nearby house fire.

Members of the department contacted 90 homeowners on Whiteacre, Greenacre, and Westacre roads and found four had no smoke detectors. Twelve detectors were installed.

Deputy Chief Michael Froelich said he was assured by one family they regularly checked the alarm. When he tested it, he said, it didn’t work. He replaced the batteries and it still didn’t work, and eventually replaced the unit.

Working smoke detectors are something every house should have, he said.

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