Beep, beep, beep: Program offers 'cheap, cheap insurance'


A community-wide program to increase fire safety is under way by local firefighters.

Targeting seniors and those who cannot afford a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, the Hays Fire Department will install free devices for residents who have been determined to have financial need within Hays city limits.

Now funded by community donations, the city's smoke detector program formerly was made possible through state grant money. Following the discontinuation of grant funds, a substantial donation from Dick Werth at Auto World Used Cars gave the program a kick start last fall, said Brandon Zimmerman, Hays firefighter.

The smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are purchased by the fire department at a substantial discount from Walmart.

"Between Walmart and Auto World, we got the program up and going," Zimmerman said.

There's evidence the program, which Zimmerman calls "cheap, cheap insurance," has paid off during the years the fire department has been installing the alarms.

"We have gone to structure fires, and when we've gone into them, we've seen smoke detectors that we put up," Zimmerman said. "It works."

Approximately 25 devices have been installed by the fire department since September. Forty smoke alarms and 30 carbon monoxide detectors are available for installation.

The fire department also offers installation of fire alarms purchased by residents themselves and will provide advice on where best to place the devices.

"That's our job," Zimmerman said. "That's what the taxpayers pay us for.

"When they have a problem, call us and we'll do everything we can to help them."

Those interested in donating to the program or receiving a free smoke or carbon dioxide alarm can call the Hays Fire Department at (785) 628-7330.