A few weeks ago, a smoke alarm began chirping somewhere in Glyn and Belva Verzatt’s Helena home. The alarms were 19 years old and the couple couldn’t figure out which was the culprit. One by one they began replacing batteries, with Glyn, age 85, up on the ladder, and Belva, 84, holding on below.
“We’re not youngsters anymore,” Belva joked.
Then, as luck would have it, all three alarms began chirping. So Glyn took them all down, sprayed them with compressed air to clean the computers and put them back up.
That seemed to the trick, but just a couple of days later, as Glyn was reading the newspaper, he saw a story about the Montana Red Cross and the Helena Fire Department planning to install free smoke alarms in Helena homes. They decided to sign up.
“They were working OK but old enough they needed replacing,” he said.
Not long after, a Red Cross volunteer team arrived at their door and installed free smoke alarms throughout their home. Each alarm was equipped with a 10-year battery meaning Glyn, who’s on oxygen, won’t have to get back on a ladder any time soon.
That’s a big relief to Belva.
“We don’t have to worry about it anymore,” she said.
Glyn also has difficulty hearing so the next day the team returned with a free bed shaker alarm – an alarm that vibrates and will wake Glyn during the night if there’s a fire.