This week I attended a North Central Home Builders Association dinner in Wenatchee, Washington. One of the speakers was Mark Yaple, the Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Wenatchee. He talked about the number one problem that causes a total loss in a house fire– a faulty or absent smoke detector. Since 1995 building code has required homes to have hardwired smoke detector alarms with battery backup. Yaple is concerned about the homes built before 1995. He has taken it upon himself to provide smoke detectors to any home in the city of Wenatchee that needs one.
State Farm Insurance gave him a $5,000 grant to purchase battery operated smoke detectors. With the help of a Red Cross volunteer and driving his fire truck he went door to door inspecting smoke detectors and installing new ones where needed. He advertised his free service to the public and received many calls from elderly people that were not able to deal with the problem themselves. His goal is to receive more money and continue his good work. He has applied for more grants from State Farm and the Federal Government and hopes to receive up to $27,000 to purchase detectors. Obviously, new construction homes are not entitled to his program because they would not meet the code adopted in 1995. If you would like to volunteer with Yaple to install smoke detectors contact him at the City of Wenatchee. He could use our help!