Free dinner being used to sell overpriced smoke alarms in Petaluma

PETALUMA (KRON) — Authorities in Petaluma are warning residents of a group of salespeople holding events, where they offer patrons a free dinner and then later try to sell them overpriced smoke alarms, fire officials said.

Residents get invited to a free dinner at local restaurants and are offered a chance to win prized. Then they are asked to watch a short film on fire prevention and are offered a free home safety check, according to fire officials.

One resident said at the check, a salesperson gave him a quote for three Crossfire smoke alarms for $1,412, or about $470 each.

While Crossfire smoke alarms meet the State Fire Marshall standards for home smoke alarms, a good quality dual-sensor smoke alarm should typically cost about $30, according to fire officials.

Fire Department staff attended one of the events and noted the information the group provided focused on older smoke alarm technology that is no longer the industry standard. Staff members also said fire safety products were not sold at the event and prices were not provided there, but rather at the home visits.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors, be placed on every floor of a home, in every bedroom and in the hallway outside of each sleeping area.

“The Petaluma Fire Department does not want complaints to undermine the important message that families need early fire detection in their homes and urges everyone to make sure approved smoke detectors are installed in their residences,” Fire Marshal Carey Fergus said in a statement.

In addition, fire officials also encourage residents to research smoke alarm prices before making a purchase.

Bay City News Service contributed to this article

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