After tragedy last year, Kendall making sure every home has CO detector

Photos by Tom Rivers: Kendall firefighters are pictured on Saturday morning before some members of the Kendall Fire Department visited local houses, installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Pictured from left include Sue Maslyn, Rich Breslawski, John Becker, Steve Giverson, Fire Chief Bryan Hardenbrook and Paul Jennings.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 February 2019 at 11:23 am

Steve Giverson, coordinator of the program for the Fire Department, holds one of the new smoke detectors.

KENDALL – The Kendall Fire Department, Kendall Lions Club and American Red Cross have teamed to make sure every house in Kendall that needs smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have them.

The groups have worked together and will be putting new detectors in about 200 homes in Kendall. They are pushing for the new detectors after a mother and her son died on April 18 from carbon monoxide poisoning. Joan C. Gilman, 38, and her son, Richard J. Gilman Jr., 14, lived in an a duplex at 2245 Center Rd.

The Red Cross has donated 600 smoke detectors, while the Kendall Lions Club gave $5,000 towards the purchase of the 200 CO detectors. The Kendall Fire Department also paid towards the CO detectors which cost $31 each. Rochester Gas & Electric also is contributing $750.

Kendall firefighters have been out three weekends so far this year, going to homes and installing the detectors. They expect they will be out three or four more weekends to get the job done.

Long-time Kendall firefighters John Becker said the death of the mother and son was preventable if there had been a working CO detector.

“We were like how the hell did that happen?” Becker said. The deaths last year were the first time he could recall a carbon monoxide death in the community.

The fire department and other community volunteers are installing these carbon monoxide detectors.

However, he stressed carbon monoxide is a lethal gas that can kill someone quickly. CO is often called “the silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. If the early signs of CO poisoning are ignored, a person may lose consciousness and be unable to escape the danger.

The Kendall Fire Department and Lions Club did an outreach campaign and realized many people didn’t have detectors.

The have been signing up people at community events and through information sent to parents through the school district.

Visiting the homes and installing the detectors also has been a good chance to go over fire prevention and urge residents to have a fire escape plan, Becker said.

Firefighters typically install one CO detector per residence and may put in three or more smoke detectors. It’s important to have them in spots where air circulates. Smoke detectors are up high on the ceiling while the CO detectors should be on a wall, about a foot from the ceiling.

The detectors will be good for about a decade. Firefighters are putting a date on them for when they were installed. They also urge the residents to dust the detectors every two months or so.

Steve Giverson, a Kendall firefighter, has been organizing the effort, and the installation plan. He calls the residents to schedule the installation.

Besides the 200 homes getting new detectors, Giverson said many other residents have replaced detectors on their own. He said residents of all ages, from young families to senior citizens, have signed up for the new detectors.

Giverson said there may be some additional detectors if Kendall residents missed the signup. They are encouraged to call the Fire Department at leave a message at (585) 659-8082.

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