SEARSPORT, Maine — The last thing you should cut back on during lean economic times is batteries for home smoke detectors.
With that in mind, Dale and Mary-Jo Tozier of Tozier’s Market distributed free 9-volt batteries during Tuesday’s Senior Citizen Discount Day.
The giveaway was held a few weeks after the death of two local residents who were overcome by smoke during an overnight fire in their Porter Street home. Dale Tozier expressed concern for the families of Eli LaPointe, 80, and Megan Senter, 28, but said he had planned the promotion before the fire.
“I’d been looking all winter to give seniors an item that probably not all of them would be buying because of the economy,” Tozier said. “It’s a program we already were looking to promote on Senior Citizens Day.”
Tozier’s Market awards a 5 percent discount to its 350-member senior citizen club cardholders every Tuesday, and this week’s battery promotion was an added treat. The batteries sell for $2.80.
“I think it’s great,” Searsport resident Carol Miller said after checking out her groceries and picking up a battery Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a great idea.”
The Searsport Fire Department parked a firetruck in front of the store that morning as a way of stressing fire safety and the need to ensure that home smoke detectors have working batteries. The LaPointe home had three working detectors but the batteries had been removed from each.
“It’s been very successful and we’ve had a good response. It was very busy this morning,” Tozier said. “For a senior citizen, when you look at the cost of buying food, fuel or medicine, batteries for smoke detectors are probably very low on their list.”