Some Lexington firefighters spent Saturday morning installing free smoke alarms and checking mobile homes at the Imperial Mobile Home Park on Newtown Pike.
The new program is aimed at making manufactured housing in Lexington safer.
Battalion Chief Marshall Griggs said the fire department decided to launch the program because mobile home fires are a persistent problem. The homes burn quickly and usually are located close together, he noted.
"We did some door-to-door surveys and found that well over 50 percent of the mobile homes we checked did not have even one working smoke alarm," Griggs said. Fayette County has about 1,200 mobile homes, he said.
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Firefighter Antoine Tribble said the crew put smoke alarms in several mobile homes and replaced the batteries in an alarm in another. They also advised homeowners on the importance of testing smoke alarms monthly and changing batteries twice a year.
In addition, firefighters passed out fire-safety brochures and related literature to homeowners.
While owners might think smoke alarms aren't really needed in their mobile homes, alarms may be even more important in the tight confines of such a home, Tribble said.
"They're very important in a mobile-home setting," Tribble said. "A mobile home leaves you less time to react to a fire than (does) a normal residential home. You have a tightly compressed space of combustible material, lower ceilings and thinner walls, so the burn rate is going to be a lot faster.
"When a smoke alarm sounds in a mobile home you need to leave immediately. You need to do that in any situation, but with a mobile home you don't have time to do anything but evacuate."
Residents can arrange free home inspections by firefighters to spot potential trouble spots, Tribble said. For information about those and other services, call 231-5600 and ask for community services.