Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Get Alarmed Program Offers Smoke Alarms Free Across UC

Smoke alarms are more accessible than ever thanks to the Get Alarmed Program, available across the Upper Cumberland.

Central View Deputy Chief Kyle Winnett said the State Fire Marshal’s office provides fire departments with smoke alarms that they will install in homes free upon request. Winnett said it is important to have a working fire alarm in a region that relies so heavily on volunteer firefighters.

“Especially in these rural areas, if we have a quick notification of a, of an incident to the public, then it gets them out of the residence before we can ever get there,” Winnett said. “We have great response times, but we are still volunteer and we’re responding from our homes and our businesses and things like that.”

Winnett said a smoke alarm is still the best defense there is to keep people safe in the event of a fire. He said the smoke alarms they are giving out now have batteries that last for ten years and cannot be removed.

“It’s a sealed battery, and it’s supposed to be, of course, it’s man-made, it’s like anything else, it can fail,” Winnett said. “But it has a sealed, ten-year battery.”

Winnett said he thinks many people choose to go without working smoke alarms because they remove the battery once it gets low and do not replace it.

“A lot of times we’ll respond to an incident where there are no working smoke alarms, or a lot of times where they’ve even been removed from where they were actually installed to begin with,” Winnett said.

Winnett said the fire department is discussing going door-to-door with other departments to areas with a high fire risk to ensure that everyone there has a smoke alarm. Winnett said there is a special kind of fire alarm called a bed shaker for people who are hearing impaired.

“They actually rely on a smoke alarm going off inside the residence,” Winnett said. “It senses that, in that little system that we install, and it actually has a – like I said a bed shaker, so there’s a vibrating mat that goes under the mattress to alert hearing impaired occupants.”

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