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Fremont Promotes Fire Safety Through Smoke Detector

Preventing fires is always a high priority for fire departments but there are often members of the population that are hard to reach with fire safety education. Mayor Gus Morrison and the Fremont Fire Department have attempted to enhance fire safety education in the communities of Fremont and Union City with the assistance of two volunteers and a partnership with a local agency. This program began approximately three years ago when a resident of Fremont donated 100 smoke detectors to the Fire Department. From this donation, the department created a new fire safety and smoke detector installation program.

Jack Maguire and Sonny Rath, two Fire Department volunteers, donate their time to the community by installing smoke detectors and performing fire safety inspections for senior citizens, physically challenged individuals, and low-income families. These visits allow Jack and Sonny to perform general welfare checks on these individuals in an unassuming manner. Jack and Sonny also give fires safety presentations at senior centers, neighborhood watch meetings, and in schools. About one year ago, Jack and Sonny approached Washington Hospital in Fremont with the idea of creating a partnership to enhance fire safety for families with newborns. This conversation culminated in the development of the infant smoke detector program. Every family that has a baby in Washington Hospital receives a certificate for a free smoke detector and installation in their home. The family simply has to call the number on the certificate to receive their smoke detector. Since the beginning of the program, Jack and Sonny have installed smoke detectors in over 200 households. This number will continue to grow as more community members learn about the program and as more smoke detectors are donated.

For more information about the smoke detector program, contact Vic Valdes, Fremont Fire Department Acting Division Chief at 510-494-4295.

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