Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    LaCrosse, WI
    Posts
    16

    Default Smoke Detector Installation & Liability

    Hello,
    Just wondering if there is a Fire Dept currently installing smoke detectors for the public (if asked) and if there is any liabilty in doing this?

    Have heard conflicting stories.

    Thanks,
    Lance Tryggestad
    La Crosse Fire Dept


  2. #2
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Birdsboro, PA
    Posts
    967

    Default Lawyers Abound

    The only problem with a program like that is that there is always someone out there who would sue if the detector ever fails. Even if it's their fault for not replacing the battery. You can do all the education possible but if they decide not to replace the battery when needed, or pull it out to use somewhere else, they'll still blame you.

    Not that they could win the suit but you have to spend the time and money to defend yourself. I don't know if signed waivers are even worth the paper they're printed on anymore.

    I think it's a good thing you're looking for guidance before deciding to do this. Hopefully you can get some positive feedback.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  3. #3
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    I would like to get a program like this started in my city, but am trying to find out about some programs the state has first. The waiver is not a bad idea. Hhow many others do this?

  4. #4
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Dauphin County, PA
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    Fire departments across the country have been doing this for years ... with no history of being sued. As long as you pass along the manufactuers limited warranty and liability, you shouldn't have a problem.

    Stay Safe

  5. #5
    Forum Member Firegod343's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    The other Washington
    Posts
    255

    Default

    There is a program in place by Radio Shack where they donate large quantities of smoke detectors with one requirement.....it is installed by the Fire Department. I ran our in-house program for a couple of years before I turned it over to another officer.

    The smoke detectors have easy to install instructions for location and mounting. We provide a new battery, and instructions on usage, battery changing, and what to do in case of fire.

    Face it, nothing we do is "liability" proof, however, if we walk into a home with a dozen kids or an elderly person, and it doesn't have a smoke alarm, what does it say about us if we don't offer to fix the situation.

    Imagine the liablilty if a good lawyer finds out that this program is available for little or no cost to your agency, and you refused to participate in it.

    FG
    IACOJ.... "Carpe Elkhartem"
    (Seize the Nozzle)


    "Victorious warriors win first,
    and then go to war,
    while defeated warriors go to war first,
    and then seek to win."

    SUN TZU

  6. #6
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    I am not sure why we dont install them (but I could guess), we do give them away.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    1,719

    Default

    Originally posted by firenresq77
    I would like to get a program like this started in my city, but am trying to find out about some programs the state has first. The waiver is not a bad idea. Hhow many others do this?
    Brian, Try getting in touch with someone from Ottawa Hills. I believe they perform this service for the rich folks there.

    We just installed one in the mobile home of a 400 lb. bed-ridden (suprise, suprise) person last week. Went there for an in-service assist when she fell out of bed and found no detector in the place.
    Last edited by WTFD10; 01-11-2004 at 10:04 PM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    873

    Default We Have a program

    Originally posted by firenresq77
    I would like to get a program like this started in my city, but am trying to find out about some programs the state has first. The waiver is not a bad idea. Hhow many others do this?
    We Do this in our city and we use a city waiver from the ciy attorney.

    We do it on a request and we perform a fire inspection before we install the detector. Its a good way to get a look at some of the houses in the city and maybe do a little preplanning on some of the older stock. The first year we did this we had installed over 1000 detectors, its 10 years later and we install around 15 per year.
    IACOJ Membership 2002
    {15}

    Mike IAFF

    The beatings will continue until the morale improves

  9. #9
    Forum Member dfd3dfd3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    229

    Default

    Last Jan. We had a total of 7 fire fatalities in two seperate fires and neither houses had smoke detectors, so we have been installing them ever since. Our light duty guys are actually doing it, ill ask tomorrow what they do about liability and things like that.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Weiner, AR, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default

    In Arkansas any Fire Dept can get as many smoke detectors as they need from the State Health Dept. There is a questionaire that each homeowner must fill out when they get one. There is also a statement with it saying they will be responsible for the detector and its operation and maintainence.
    The first year we gave them out , we had the folks fill out the forms, Now we just give them out ourselves for our prevention program.
    We are small enough that we go to every house in town and either install one or test and or replace batteries as needed.
    As for liability, Why should we worry about that when this is simply-the Right thing to do!
    The benefits outweigh the risks!!!!
    Asst Chief Tyler Sitzer
    Weiner Vol Fire & Rescue Dept, Weiner, ARK

  11. #11
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    Brian, Try getting in touch with someone from Ottawa Hills. I believe they perform this service for the rich folks there.
    Thanks, Moe. I will do that.


    We do it on a request and we perform a fire inspection before we install the detector.
    Is it one of those things where you only make recommendations to correct and cannot force them to correct them? I believe that's how it is in OH, at least.

    As for liability, Why should we worry about that when this is simply-the Right thing to do! The benefits outweigh the risks!!!!
    I understand this is the right thing to do and the Benefits outweigh the risks. I don't think anyone will argue with you on that. With society being as litigious (sp) as it is, you sometimes have to make sure that someone's not going to try to sue you because you did the right thing. I, personally, don't want someone trying to sue us because we gave them a smoke detector and it was either faulty or they let the batteries die and it never alerted anyone.....

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Weiner, AR, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default

    I think the biggest point here is that we GIVE them the detector. If it is free then the manufacturers should still be in the liability zone. If we sold them there would be a bigger chance of litigation.
    It is a shame that we have to consider things because we are such a litiguous society.
    I dont know of any precedent established about this, but with lawyers who knows???
    How are some cities /districts getting by with making detectors manditory in every home???
    Tyler

  13. #13
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Cellblock776's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    319

    Default

    You might want to check with your local Wal-Mart about getting the alarms donated to your Department. My local VFD doesn't have a alarm program but I have read of other Departments in the State getting donations of alarms, batteries, etc from Wal-Mart.
    Good Luck,

  14. #14
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,921

    Default

    For some reason, I remember a series of fatal fires in a major Texas city a few years back. (Dallas, maybe?) Anyhow, I remember news reports saying that the department sent every engine company out into their districts to do door-to-door checks for smoke detectors.

    Am I dreaming this up? Or does someone know what I'm talking about?

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Essex Junction, Vt.
    Posts
    148

    Default

    In Vermont, in order to install a battery operated smoke detector in a residence that you don't live in, you have to hold a "Type S Journeyman Electrician" license. It's only a 2 or 3 hour class to get it, with a very easy test. Once you have the license, pretty much all it allows you to do is install battery operated smoke detectors. We had to go through it a few years back when USFA had a program to provide detectors for local departments to install. I don't know if the program is still in effect or not.
    TW
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.
    Vermont

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deleted by the forum gremlins
    Posts
    1,663

    Default

    We have a smoke detector program where we give away donated smoke alarms. Recipients must sign a form stating that they have been instructed how they should be installed and maintained. We will install them if the occupant is unable to.

    I can certainly see the potential liability if you were to install a smoke alarm incorrectly e.g. at floor level.

    Our city's insurance carrier asked all fire departments to stop doing courtesy inspections of homes out of liability concerns. They were politely told to ****** off - inspections and public education are things that fire departments need to do. Never heard any more out of the issue.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  17. #17
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    Well, in case anyone else was wondering, Radio Shack is no longer doing the donations of smoke detectors. I emailed their corporate offices and they said that they are now focusing on preventing child abuse and such through a neighborhood grant program.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    The only question Ive have with free detector programs involves a local FD. As an inspector, Im aware that NFPA 101 does not permit new installation of battery only smoke detectors in apartment buildings, yet this local FD not only hands them out but installs them in apartments. I would think that's a huge liability on this FD's part.

    Does anyone else do this? If so, you may want to review the codes that apply in your area.

    Dave

  19. #19
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    The only question Ive have with free detector programs involves a local FD. As an inspector, Im aware that NFPA 101 does not permit new installation of battery only smoke detectors in apartment buildings, yet this local FD not only hands them out but installs them in apartments. I would think that's a huge liability on this FD's part.
    I'm not an inspector, and I'm not sure what NFPA 101 says, so I may be wrong, but I believe that may only apply to new construction or major renovations. I believe as per county building codes here, with any new contruction or major renovation (additions, complete remodeling and such) direct wire smoke detectors are required (I believe with a battery backup). I have a friend who put a huge addition on his house and when the county building inspector came out to do an inspection (I believe it may have been for the electrical) he was told he had to have the direct wire smoke detectors.

    I don't see how they can force people to put in the direct wire ones in an existing structure, just like with sprinkler systems. I would think that existing structures are grandfathered unless they do major renovation.........

  20. #20
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    Brian is correct ...........at least for our county .......any new addition or renovation the dwelling must have 110v with battery back up detectors ..........not sure on the formula on how many per floor etc ......but I bet I will know soon !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts