Kim Conley didn't know her home needed smoke detectors. On Saturday afternoon, volunteers placed six in her Fireside Road home, replacing old ones and installing new ones.

"I definitely didn't know some of them weren't working," she said.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 229, a group of electricians, and York City Fire Department came out to install nearly 300 smoke detectors — free of charge — in homes in York City's Fireside neighborhood. The smoke detectors were donated by the electrical workers union.

Helping out:

Eleven groups of three electricians each canvassed the neighborhood, offering their services to residents.

Tim Griffin of Red Lion was one of the participating electricians.

"We're just trying to help the community and let them know we're here," he said.

The neighborhood was chosen because of a fatal fire that occurred on Tioga Street, in the Fireside neighborhood, in September.


Firefighter Ken Swartz was leading a group of three electricians, knocking on every door they passed, offering to help

"Smoke detectors will save more lives than I'll ever save," he said.

While some didn't answer or declined the help, those who accepted seemed grateful.

Sherry Desoto was surprised when several people showed up at her front door offering to install new smoke detectors.

Desoto welcomed the electricians into her home. She said she hadn't realized she needed new smoke detectors.

Betty Bowman knew about the event and allowed the electricians into her home. She saw fliers promoting the event and thought it was a great idea.

"That's nice that you come out and even offer to do it," she told them.

The group led by Swartz covered four blocks within the first hour and installed several new detectors in five homes. The installations only took a few minutes for each home.

"These are good guys," Swartz said. "They're hard workers."

Leftover detectors will be available from the York City Fire Department for residents to pick up free of charge.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at

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