Staying cool in the summer months

West Columbia,SC – Summer is upon us and so is the heat. The Famously Hot City is heating up quickly and as we’ve seen in recent days the temperatures are reaching over 100 degrees. We know that many families are out and about, so we want to make sure everyone stays safe and cool. Several law enforcement agencies are providing fans to area residents. Below is a list of agencies, locations and requirements to either receive a fan or how you can donate one. 

The West Columbia Police Department is helping those in the community who may not have the resources they need to cool off. The department is currently giving the fans away to people who fit specific criteria. To qualify, West Columbia residents must be at least 55 years old or regardless of age, have major respiratory problems or a major illness. Residents in the latter two categories must have a doctor’s statement to be eligible. Families of young children are also eligible.It’s also important for recipients to provide a name, address, and telephone number to ensure that the fans are delivered to the correct address.

To receive a fan, residents can contact Lt. Fair at 803-794-0721 Ext. 827. Those wanting to donate can either drop off fans at the West Columbia Police Department located at 200 N. 12th Street or they can make a check payable to wcpof with “Fan the Heat” in the memo line. Those with donations can also contact Lt. Fair.

The Columbia Police Department has their ‘Fan the Heat’ program. Fans can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • PD Main Headquarters – 1 Justice Square, Columbia, SC 29201
  • Metro Region – 1800 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201
  • North Region – 3905 Ensor Avenue, Columbia, SC 29203
  • Southeast Region – 2132 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205 or 446 Spears Creek Church Road, Elgin, SC 29045
  • West Region – 690 Club Road, Columbia, SC 29212

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Citizens must be 55 years old or older
  • Citizens must provide their name, address, and telephone number (to ensure that the fan or air conditioner is delivered to the correct address)


  • Individuals with respiratory problems or a major illness can bring in a doctor’s statement regardless of age to receive assistance.
  • Families with young children

For assistance on the Fan the Heat program, you can call the Columbia Police Department’s Telephone Response Unit at 803-545-3991 or 3992 or Sgt. Torrey Smalls at 803-545-4191.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) has also begun collecting new fans and air conditioning units for the elderly through the Project HOPE (Helping Our Precious Elderly) initiative. Anyone with new box fans, circular fans, and window A/C units can drop off donations at any time at RCSD Headquarters, 5623 Two Notch Rd; or at RCSD Victim’s Services, 1921 Pineview Rd, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

In Lexington, the Lexington Police Department offers free box-style fans in their ‘Operation: Cool Down’. If you are in need you can go to the Lexington Police Department located at 111 Maiden Lane in Lexington for assistance during weekday business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 


If you are a Town of Lexington resident and have transportation issues, a Community Action Team (C.A.T.) officers may be able to bring a box fan to you at your residence. Please contact Sergeant Cameron Mortenson of the Community Action Team with questions at 803-358-1504.

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