Smoke safety

WARREN – William Ware said recent fires in Warren motivated him to get working smoke alarms.

Ware, 79, read a newspaper article about the Save A Life Smoke Alarm initiative, and on Saturday several volunteers from SALSA showed up at his Erie Street residence to install one on each level of the home.

“You never know what’s going to happen, you know,” he said.

His daughter, Brenda Ware, 54, who also resides in the home, is no stranger to the damage that a fire can cause.

“In a fire in February in West Virginia, I lost everything I owned. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any smoke detectors,” she said.

William Ware said he had two smoke detectors that got old and wore out, and he never got around to replacing them. He does, however, have two fire extinguishers and a carbon monoxide detector.

Thanks to the volunteers, the Ware family now has three working smoke alarms. Volunteers installed about 120 free smoke alarms in Warren homes on Saturday.

The SALSA initiative is coordinated by Warren fire Lt. Charles Eggleston with the assistance of Warren firefighters and the Hands-On Volunteer Network. It is funded with donations from area residents and businesses to provide eligible households with the alarms, prioritizing low-income children, seniors and the disabled.

Christian Gwinn, 13, and his brother, Jeremy Ramsey, 34, members of Full Covenant Tabernacle Church in Leavittsburg, decided to join the cause to help distribute and install the alarms.

“So that if there’s ever a fire that they’d be safe, so they don’t die,” Gwinn said.

Volunteer Zachary Valentine, 19, said it was his first time volunteering and recognizes the importance of having a working smoke alarm.

One of the volunteers, Tom Mannion of Austintown, admitted that he didn’t have a working smoke detector in his residence.

“I feel like a hypocrite right now,” he said, adding that he disconnected his alarm several weeks ago after it kept waking up his infant daughter. “I’ll put it back up,” he said.

The long-range objective of SALSA is to provide smoke detectors at no cost to any city resident who applies.

To aid in the identification of at-risk homes, the program utilizes information from agency partners such as the Area Agency on Aging 11, Hands-On Volunteer Network of the Mahoning Valley, Red Cross Trumbull Chapter, Safe Kids Mahoning Valley, SCOPE, Steel Valley Federal Credit Union, Trumbull Community Action Program, the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, the county’s Office of Elderly Affairs, Trumbull Mobile Meals, the Trumbull County Sheriff Senior Service Unit , Warren WIC, Warren City Schools, United Way of Trumbull County and Rubenstein Associates.