But this year, the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day, I was contemplating the answer to a different question posed to me by a Sylvania Township firefighter.
“Do you have an escape plan?” asked Mike Behan, Sylvania Township firefighter.
An escape plan? I have never thought of how I would escape from any of the places I have lived in case of a fire or horrific event.
“Always have two ways out,” Mr. Behan said. The front door is the best route for an escape, depending on where the fire is, he said, and the second best, because of the layout of my apartment, would be the bedroom window.
While he was reviewing other information about smoke detectors and fires, his two colleagues from Fire Station No. 3, Nick Scalzo and Stefan Tiell, were installing a new smoke alarm in my apartment.
I felt special having three firefighters come over to my home just to make sure I had the proper smoke alarm, and information about fires.
But the truth is, I’m not special. This service is free to all Sylvania and Sylvania Township residents.
“There is no excuse not to have a smoke detector,” said Mike Froelich, deputy fire chief. He stopped by my apartment during the quick smoke-detector installation.
If you can’t afford a fire detector, or you don’t have one in your home, please call the Township Fire Department to install one for you. Chief Froelich said that this is what the department is here for.
After a fire breaks out in a certain area, the fire department returns to the scene to canvas nearby homes, to try to ensure everyone in the vicinity is equipped with smoke detectors, and that they are strategically placed throughout the home.
In this case, the smoke alarm was correctly placed near my bedroom door. My smoke detector did not have a battery in it when I moved in. My landlord, who was responsive when I asked about it, did send over someone to replace the battery. However, I was still concerned that the smoke detector itself could be expired. The firemen said it was not expired. As a courtesy, they replaced it with a new smoke detector with a 10-year battery.
For rental property, the responsibility of installing smoke detectors is the responsibility of the landlord. However, Mr. Behan said the responsibilities of battery replacement should be detailed in the renter’s contract.
Later that day, I was talking to one of my sources and asking them to explain to me why residents are protective of the township, and prefer township life to city life.
“I just can’t relate to why someone would actively seek out a home in a township,” I said.
“Because the fire department comes by and changes your smoke detector for you. You can’t get that type of service in New York City,” he said.