+ Reception options exist
Last week you published a letter from Mr. John Sandford advocating the erection of a cell tower at the Longboat Island Chapel. He lives at Whitney Beach condominiums, a mile away from the chapel, so he would not have to see it every day, and he would not suffer the loss in property value that the proposed tower has already brought.
If the town were to change the code so that towers could be erected where the complaints about cell tower coverage were greatest, he would probably not be an advocate for the huge, ugly monstrosities. They do not belong anywhere on Longboat Key.
No, Mr. Sandford would be better off working to solve his own problem instead of crying to the Town Commission and to your newspaper.
This is a market economy and he could at least go and complain to his cell-phone provider. It would, if urged, supply a femtocell, which could make a huge difference. He could buy a more modern telephone; he could install a home Internet network; he could persuade his fellow condominium residents to install a network for the whole condominium complex; he could change cell signal supplier (the recent study showed that Verizon provided the highest satisfaction levels); or he could put a simple signal expander in his condo unit. He could persuade his signal supplier to replace neighboring antennae with 4G/LTE antennae, which have much greater range.
He said Henry Ford would not have introduced the Model T if he had to wait for the self-starter. It is a false analogy. Henry Ford was always ready for the latest technology and was a great innovator. He would never have built the Model T using outdated technology, and if the self-starter had been invented and available at reasonable cost, he would have used it.
The day of the cell tower is over ,and new technology — 4G/LTE and DAS systems — is already available and working.
Ronald T.G. Platt
+ Smoke detectors should be maintained
This year, Longboat Key Fire Rescue has responded to two house fires that were well enveloped in fire prior to the arrival of firefighters. Both these residences were completely destroyed even though the call to 911 was made immediately, the dispatch of the fire department was without delay and the arrival of the fire department was within five minutes or less. In older homes, as was the case in both these fires on Longboat Key, there were no working smoke detectors.
Luckily, the occupants were either out of the house or awake when the fires were noticed. Ensuring a working detector in a home is of great importance, because it will alert you there is a fire.
Smoke detectors may not look like lifesavers, but they are. Smoke detectors will only provide safety if they’re operable using electricity or hard-wired and/or have a working battery. These devices alert occupants in the incipient, or early, phase of a fire, allowing time to get out.
If the smoke detector is powered by battery, it runs on either a disposable 9-volt battery or a non-replaceable 10-year lithium (“long-life”) battery. A backup battery is usually present on hardwired alarms and may need to be replaced.
These batteries must be tested on a regular basis and, in most cases, should be replaced at least once each year (except for lithium batteries). A smoke detector with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all.
A smoke detector only works when it is properly installed and maintained.
In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities. These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.
Fire Chief Paul Dezzi