Fire department, business to assist LEAP Program

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A local agency and a business are donating their services to help ensure local residents have safe, energy-efficient homes this winter.

On Dec. 7, the Craig Rural Fire Department and Masterworks Mechanical, Inc., in Craig will visit homes in the community and do inspections of people's home-heating systems.

Any homeowner qualified for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) can take advantage of the free service.

Craig Fire Chief Roy Mason said the fire department will check smoke detectors in homes.

It will fix smoke detectors that don't work and provide homes that need replacement smoke detectors or don't have smoke detectors with new ones.

Department members will also check fireplaces for people who wish to have them checked.

Masterworks Mechanical employees will check people's furnaces, said Craig Mayor Dave DeRose, who

also owns Masterworks

Mechanical.

They will replace furnace filters that need to be replaced for free and will also install carbon monoxide protectors.

A representative with the Moffat County Social Services department said the fire department and Masterworks Mechanical approached the department with the idea.

"I've seen a lot of other places that have done this and I thought it was a good idea," DeRose said.

These inspections are not only easy to overlook, DeRose said, but said it is a way to use tax dollars more efficiently since taxes are used to help pay the heating bills of those who qualify for LEAP.

"It seemed senseless that we help pay the energy bills on a furnace with an old filter,"

he said.

It is also about safety, he said.

"I would hate to think that tax dollars are helping to pay the bills on heaters that are giving off carbon monoxide," he said.

Laura Willems, the self-sufficiency supervisor with the Moffat County Social Services Department, said applications for the free service would be sent to those who qualify for LEAP in November.

The deadline to return the application is Dec. 4.

When operating on a limited budget, inspections like the ones that will be done in December are easy to overlook for homeowners, Willems said.

"This is very generous," she said. "We're lucky to have them doing this."

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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