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November 2, 2012

Lodge hands out batteries, information at Riley Elementary

TERRE HAUTE — Powering up with a fresh battery is important to keep smoke detectors in working condition.

For the second year, the Lockport Lodge No. 500 Independent Order of Oddfellows spearheaded a program to give 9-volt batteries – along with a coloring book, a large magnet, pencil and a form to request a smoke detector – to students at Riley Elementary School.

Scott Fisher, treasurer of Odd Fellows Lodge in Riley, along with firefighters from the Riley Fire Department, teamed up Thursday to pass out the packets to teachers for distribution to the students.

The program, Fisher said, was inspired from fires that have taken the lives of residents where smoke detectors were not installed.

“We decided at the Old Fellows Lodge that we want to prevent that and we know that 9-volt batteries are important to make smoke detectors work,” Fisher said.

Fisher said the lodge thought it best to start at the elementary school level to bring the message home. “Kids will hound you to do something,” he said, “such as putting in batteries in smoke detectors.”

Last year, the lodge passed out 491 batteries. This year the lodge distributed 453 batteries. Sponsors provided about $432 for the program to buy the batteries, Fisher said.

Riley Fire Chief Jeff Fox was among those distributing the packets at the school. Fox said the best time to remember to change batteries in smoke detectors is when the “time changes.”

The nation goes off of daylight savings time on Saturday and returns to standard time.

“We also say for the best fire protection a home should have two different smoke detectors, an ionization and a photoelectronic detector,” Fox said, also a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge. “It certainly improves the chances of getting away from a fire,” he said.

An ionization smoke detector can detect smoke from a burning fire, while a photoelectronic detector detects smoke more quickly from a smoldering fire, Fox said. All smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years, Fox added.

The Riley Fire Department also has a program to install smoke detectors to residents of Riley Township who need the safety devices. For more information on that program, contact Division Chief Kevin Murphy at (812) 894-3610, Ext. 45.

Fisher said the Odd Fellows Lodge in Riley was chartered in November 1875 at Lockport, which later became the town of Riley. The lodge moved to a new building in Riley in June 2006, Fisher said.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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