Volunteer pipefitters tune up furnaces for homeowners in need

Volunteer members of St. Paul Pipefitters Local 455 serviced furnaces for low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners as part of the 29th annual HEAT’S ON day of service Sept. 27. Area union contractors, members of the Minnesota Mechanical Contractors Association, supplied parts and vehicles to the effort, and 147 volunteers from Local 455 and other pipefitters locals provided the labor.

HEAT’S ON volunteers tuned-up or repaired 141 furnaces statewide, increasing homeowners’ safety and reducing their fuel costs. Volunteers also installed or maintained smoke detectors.

This year’s event provided assistance to homeowners in Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Cloud, Rochester and Mankato.

HEAT’S ON is a national program that started in the Twin Cities in 1986. Since then pipefitters in Minnesota have volunteered over 32,833 hours and assisted 7,588 homeowners at an estimated value of over $3.5 million.

Participating homeowners were selected with the help of local community human service organizations, including the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties.

Reprinted from the Union Advocate, the voice of St.Paul's working families since 1897.