Firefighters reminding residents to check smoke detectors
Daylight saving time ends early Sunday morning, and while its important to change your clocks, firefighters are reminding everyone to check their smoke detectors.
Daylight saving time ends early Sunday morning, and while its important to change your clocks, firefighters are reminding everyone to check their smoke detectors. They say batteries should be changes at least once a year.
From 2009-2013, the National Fire Prevention three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%). In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, nearly half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries
"Your personal safety is ultimately your first responsibility and that of your family as well," said Asst. Fire Marshal, William Jackson with the Chattanooga Fire Department.
Jackson has 18 years of experience as a firefighter. Fire prevention is his specialty. He spends most of his day inspecting buildings and installing smoke detectors for residents. He says he gets 10 to 20 requests a week.
"We would like to fill all of those as soon as they come in but it's as our schedule permits and as time permits to devote to that section of our day; we definitely try to get those done," said Jackson. "It's a job that I have taken on and the responsibility that I have taken as a firefighter to protect the citizens and the city and the community that I live in. My family lives here as well so I take that very seriously."
It's fair to say Jackson has seen plenty of different smoke detectors. On Tuesday, he says he replaced two vintage smoke detectors from a home.
"It was mounted on her wall actually and she knew that it didn't work and she reached out to our office. At some point it was tested and it worked properly and at some point it may have saved someone's life," said Jackson. "We are here to educate we are not here to insult so we are not here to belittle at all. Education is important."
Firefighters say you should replace a smoke detector if it's more than 10 years old. They say if you hear a constant low beeping sound, replace the batteries. You should also make sure it's clean with no dust or insects inside, which could cause a malfunction. If your smoke detector does go off, call 911.
"We install standalone smoke detectors. They are just for local notification meaning for your home only and when it goes off it is to notify the occupant of that space where they're located. They do not reach out to emergency services," said Jackson.
As temperatures start to drop, homes fires will rise. It's why Jackson says smoke detectors are important, but he says you should also keep one other thing in mind.
Keep all of your flammables and combustibles about three free away from any flame sources. Try not to leave any flame source or heat source unattended for any extended period of time."
The Chattanooga Fire Department and American Red Cross will hand out smoke detectors Saturday at Lookout Valley Middle/High school starting at 10 a.m.
If you need help installing or changing your smoke alarm, the Chattanooga Fire Department will do so for free. Call them at (423) 643-5600. You can also request a smoke detector online through the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance by clicking here.