Arlington Heights Trustee Joe Farwell Announced "Project Katie" To Activate Smoke Detectors And Promote Zero Tolerance For Inoperable Smoke Detectors

The Village of Arlington Heights will soon be coordinating a group of volunteers, including high school students, who will be trained on how to check smoke detectors, and install batteries.

The program, known as "Project Katie" is inspired after a fatal fire killed three women in a house with non-operating smoke detectors on South Dunton Avenue on November 6, 2013, and is spearheaded by efforts of Village of Arlington Heights Trustee Joe Farwell. At the Village Board meeting Joe Farwell introduced Project Katie, explaining that a relative of Farwell's named "Katie" was killed in Palatine in the 1970s. Farwell said he wants Arlington Heights to promote a "Zero Tolerance" for inoperative smoke detectors." Farwell added, "Too often batteries go unchanged after their useful life and too often lives are lost because people are unwilling or unable to check their smoke detectors for proper installation and operation."

"We want to put the buzz back into every detector here in Arlington Heights. We want to make fire safety easy."

-- Joe Farwell at the Village Board Meeting, 11.18.2013

"Project Katie" in Arlington Heights will begin in December 2013, and will check and activate smoke detectors on the second Saturday of every month.

Volunteers will go to homes of residents who have requested a smoke detector check and perform the service for free.

So far about 100 batteries have been donated, and Farwell hopes to expand the program with acceptance of donated smoke detectors. If your smoke detector doesn't have an expiration date on the product, the smoke dectector is over ten year old and needs replacement.

Volunteers and residents who want their smoke detectors checked by Project Katie are instructed to contact Nancy Kluz, the community relations coordinator for Arlington Heights at 847-368-5104. As of Wednesday morning the notice about "Project Katie" is not posted on the official village website or the official village Twitter account.

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Project Katie, smoke detectors, inoperable smoke detectors, Village of Arlington Heights, fatal fire