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Vanessa Oceguera

Keep Columbus Beautiful recently received a generous donation of about 18,000 batteries from Duracell and Keep America Beautiful.

The nonprofit organization wants to help hand out 9V batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to Platte County residents. Our goal is to keep local residents safe. We want to make sure every household in our community has the resources to be able to change those batteries out.

October was Fire Prevention Awareness Month. We partnered with several community businesses to help disperse batteries at many different events. Columbus Community Hospital had mandatory training for all of their staff and passed out batteries to every employee. Annette Alt with State Farm handed them out for Kids Safety Days along with a raffle for new smoke detectors. Local real estate agents from Century 21, Earley Real Estate, and REMAX Total Realty passed them out to new home buyers, door to door visits, and at the CMS Trunk or Treat. The Duncan Rural Fire Department also handed them out for Halloween along with treats. These are just some examples of the local businesses helping Keep Columbus Beautiful spread the word on fire prevention safety and proper battery disposal.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, two-thirds of all fire deaths occur in homes where smoke alarms are either missing or aren't working. These detectors are crucial in fire prevention and can keep families and homes safe.

The batteries will be available for pickup at the Columbus Fire Department in the coming weeks. We are still working out the details with local Fire Chief Dan Miller. Residents are encouraged to stop by and get as many as they need for their home. Sheets for proper battery disposal will be given to residents receiving batteries. For more information on this or our other programs give us a call at 402-563-9223.

Vanessa Oceguera is the executive director of Keep Columbus Beautiful. Her column will published in The Columbus Telegram every second Friday of the month.

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