Dearborn Heights fire dept. uses grant to protect residents

One local fire department is doing its part to help homeowners either save themselves -- or call 911 -- before it's too late.

Dearborn Heights firefighters are hard at work, even when they aren't fighting flames.

They're going home to home installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and also leaving behind fire extinguishers.

"My last fatal fire as a captain, I remember after the fire we were talking about it with the guys saying well, we did everything we could do," said Dearborn Heights Fire Department Chief Dave Brogan. "And it was true, from the time the 911 call came in, but what could we have done before that fire happened?"

All of the equipment is free of charge to homeowners. It's paid for by a federal grant, and they're hoping to hit 1,000 homes in the next year.

The department says the detectors not only protect homeowners, but help keep firefighters safe too.

"We're willing to take a lot of risks to save a life but that risking, we're free to lower that risk when we're dealing with property. We don't want any of our firefighters killed trying to save the things in someone's house," Brogan said.

The department is targeting high-risk homes first, namely the elderly and low-income areas.

But they also went to neighborhoods that recently experienced a fire.

Firefighters say to check the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a month and change them twice a year.

You should also replace your smoke detectors once every 10 years.