Dozens of smoke alarms installed for free by Chattanooga firefig - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dozens of smoke alarms installed for free by Chattanooga firefighters and Red Cross volunteers

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

As you set the clock back an hour, make sure to check your smoke alarm's batteries.

Chattanooga firefighters and volunteers with the Red Cross spent Saturday checking on a North Chattanooga neighborhood.

They visited more than 200 homes to make sure they had working smoke alarms and installed 64.

Chattanooga Fire Marshal William Matlock said he also spoke with neighbors about fire safety and the importance of having an escape plan.

"With the holidays coming up, obviously, being aware of heating safety as well as cooking safety. With thanksgiving around the corner, unattended cooking is the number one cause of house fires. Heating is right behind it, candle safety, extension cords, all of that coming up with the holidays. They're all important things," Chattanooga Fire Marshal William Matlock said.

Matlock said it's important for homeowners to check their smoke alarms once a month and to change the batteries once a year.

"It's a great thing for the community especially when you have smaller kids and the elderly. It's a good way to help them and their neighbors if they have a smoke alarm, they can help them get out of the house and help the children get out of the house," Mario Moore, a North Chattanooga neighbor said.

Chattanooga firefighters and volunteers with the Red Cross check smoke alarms twice a year in various neighborhoods.

The NFPA issued the following facts and figures about smoke alarms in their September 2015 report:

  • In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
  • No smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38%) home fire deaths.  
  • The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).
  • In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. 
  • Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.
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