It is time once again to set your clocks forward and check the batteries in your smoke detector. Firefighters recommend changing, or at least checking, the batteries every spring and fall when you change your clocks.
Saturday, Chattanooga Firefighters knocked on 200 doors in the Brainerd area giving away and installing hundreds of smoke alarms. Our Channel 3's Kate Smith followed the firefighters as they helped install new alarms.
Firefighters ran into a few different problems. Some homes didn't have any alarms, while others had dead batteries. Some sensors didn't work, even though it beeped when tested.
Chattanooga Firefighters spent the morning walking through neighborhoods taking fire-safety directly to the front doors of residents. “Hello, this is the Chattanooga Fire Department we are here to check smoke alarms.”
Naomi Miller assumed she had four working smoke detectors. She tests the batteries each time the clocks change. “In the fall, I always change them when we fall back.” But after the firefighters tested her alarms, they discovered the batteries were dead. “They’re putting new ones in the hall by the kitchen. I am thinking one time I had smoke in the kitchen and it didn't go off. I know batteries were good, but wasn't picking up the smoke. Probably because it was so old.”
The Miller home wasn't the only problem fire fighters ran into, some homes didn't have any smoke alarms installed. “This was an old group home, when we came in we encountered an old alarm system was taken out of the wall and dismantled by the home owner,” said Lieutenant Chadd Nichols with the Chattanooga Fire Department.
They quickly took out their tools installed one, free of charge, for the family. Firefighters provided neighbors with plenty of pamphlets and other materials with fire safety tips and information. Lieutenant Nichols hopes by spending the time in people's homes, firefighters can start a conversation that could save their lives in the event of a fire. “Sounds silly, but it’s very important for working smoke alarms. They can help save lives.”
If you need help installing or changing your smoke alarm, the department is asking folks to contact them. Also, a lot of detectors have expiration dates of 2016, so make sure to check yours.