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Innovation & Growth Initiative: Montgomery County Benchmark
Learn about Abington's Next Century. To access a white paper that compares Abington to the rest of Montgomery County, click here >
Smoke Detectors and Fire Safety
What can the Township do to protect residents and staff?
Employees of the Township are concerned that lives have been lost because many residents do not have smoke and carbon monixide detectors. Nine residents have died since 1997 because of fires in the home and six firefighters have died over the many years since the Fire Department was formed.
According the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council, homes with detectors have a 40 - 50% lower death rate. It also estimated that 300 lives could be saved and 4500 injuries could be avoided per year in the country as a result of smoke alarms. Abington employees are justifiably concerned about their own welfare, as well as the health and safety of residents.
There was a hearing regarding proposed ordinance #1994 on December 9 at the monthly Board of Commissioners meeting to address this life and death issue. This ordinance was drafted with the best intentions, with a goal of increasing the number of homes with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It would require that a home be inspected at the time of a sale and there would be a fee of $50 per inspection.
Many realtors, property managers and residents spoke against the particular solution to the problem because they felt that it would only address a small number of dwellings (less than 2000 per year even in the best economy) out of a total of 22,578 units. Commissioner Lycott also spoke eloquently about each citizen's constitutional right to enjoy life without unreasonable search of their homes without a court order. Several Commissioners were concerned that the solution ignored the difficult realities of buying and selling homes and the high cost of turnovers at apartment complexes.
However, there must be a reasonable solution that addresses more homes, and does not interfere with already complicated transactions. RMCA wants to be part of a solution that saves lives and hard-earned property. We encourage members to submit suggestions that do not necessarily involve unwanted inspections, fees or government interferance.
0 comments by Members are their personal opinions (see RMCA policies)