In two recent fire deaths in the county, neither home had smoke detectors.
By LAURA MILOSER
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A Neshannock Township supervisor is proposing an ordinance to make smoke detectors mandatory in all township homes.
"Buying a quarter-million-dollar fire apparatus or adding firefighters isn't the answer," said Supervisor John DiCola Jr. "We need to prevent fires from happening. I believe we are treating the wrong part of the problem."
At Wednesday night's supervisors meeting, DiCola, who also is the township's fire chief, proposed an ordinance that would make smoke detectors mandatory in all township homes.
He said this has been in the back of his mind for some time, but the two fire fatalities in Lawrence County in the past two months made it more of a concern.
"The two deaths were senseless," he said. "Neither home had smoke detectors."
DiCola said the fire department has applied for a state grant for fire prevention only. The grant will target residents 65 and older and households with children 14 and younger.
He said the department plans to use the grant money to donate smoke detectors to the target groups.
DiCola said he has to admit that a volunteer fire department response time is not what it should be. Smoke alarms can assist in earlier detections, he said.
He received support from chairman Gale Measel and Supervisor Dan Vogler.
DiCola said the fire department plans to inspect smoke detectors in all homes throughout the township.
He said that in the future he would like to see a requirement calling for installation of sprinkler systems in all new construction in the township.