With a donation provided by Lowe’s Home Improvement, the Conway Fire Department (CFD) now has 400 smoke detectors to promote home fire safety and disperse to Conway residents.

In its six-year partnership with the fire department, Lowe’s — located at 1325 Highway 64 West in Conway — has donated approximately 2,000 smoke detectors.

"With the time change last week, it’s important to also check smoke detectors," Cpt. Mike Rhoades said, noting many Conway residents either do not inspect their detectors properly or simply do not have one.

Manager Gary Stillwell said Lowe’s would continue donating the alarms to the CFD annually, noting their partnership was ongoing.

The continuing donations are part of Lowe’s Home Improvement’s community relations program.

According to the Lowe’s community relations department, "Lowe’s customers and employees are integral to their communities and the foundation of our business. That’s why, for nearly 70 years, we’ve invested in our communities."

Lowes’s donates annually to schools, nonprofits and community organizations across the United States, Canada and Mexico through corporate donors, Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation and store giving.

"We all live here, everyone who works here lives here," Stillwell said. "This is our way of paying back and giving to the community."

In February 2011, Lowe’s donated 150 smoke detectors in its first year partnering with the CFD.

Rhoades said the CFD and Lowe’s hold a strong relationship and that the store’s donations help support the community where CFD funding is lacking.

"It used to be we would keep a handful [of smoke detectors] at the station, but our budget didn’t allow us to continue doing so," he said.

Smoke detectors provided by Lowe’s include batteries, saving the fire department of more than one expense, Rhoades said.

The partnership was established following a fire fatality in Conway, Rhoades said.

Administration Manager Brenda Brown helped set up the partnership after Rhoades approached her for help from the store six years ago.

"We just want to help out in the community," she said.

Rhoades said the CFD would provide smoke detectors free of charge to any resident in need, noting the fire department would also install the alarms for elderly and handicapped residents.

A tab is "in the works" to allow residents to request a free smoke detector on the fire department’s website, www.conwayfd.com, Cpt. Phillip Short said.

Residents are also encouraged to call the fire department at 501-450-6148 or stop by the Central Fire Station at 1401 Caldwell Street to request a smoke detector, he said.

Lowe’s Home Improvement’s Community Relations Department said the store also "provides schools and communities with the necessary resources to make improvements where they’re needed most" through it’s education grant program — Lowe’s Toolbox for Education — and donates funds to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at marisa.hicks@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)