Free smoke detectors available

Published 12:22 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

Local fire departments have partnered with the Alabama Fire College to provide smoke detectors to people in need.

“It is a proven fact, that having a smoke detector saves lives,” Opp Fire Chief Cory Spurlin said. “The Alabama fire chief and the Alabama Fire College did a study on it and proved that they are beneficial for every citizen to have.”

Spurlin said that Alabama led the nation in fire deaths in 2016.

“The Alabama fire chief started a slogan for the state of Alabama to make people aware,” Spurlin said. “’Turn Your Attention Towards Fire Prevention,’ it has made an impact and now we are working on spreading the information toward adults.”

Spurlin said that Fire Prevention Week is next week and that the Opp Fire Department will travel to several schools in the county talking about fire prevention.

“It is important to instill fire prevention in the youth’s mind,” Spurlin said. “But one thing that we tend to forget about is the adults that forget about fire prevention, so we will be going to different adult facilities talking about fire prevention as well.”

Spurlin said that even though smoke detectors may be a nuisance they will help save lives.

“I get that people may be cooking and the alarm goes off so they take the batteries out of the smoke alarm,” Spurlin said. “But some of the time, people forget to put the batteries back in or they just dismantle their whole alarm system and put it away. We have to make sure that people have smoke alarms set up because they can save lives. Most of the time, people that die in fires die from smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide. If they have these smoke alarms set up correctly then it will help them get out of the house quicker and prevent some of the harm.”

Spurlin said that he is excited to administer smoke alarms for the people of Opp.

“I am really excited to give people in need these smoke alarms,” Spurlin said. “For anyone in the city limits, we will install your smoke alarm and even if you’re not in the city limits, you can still come by and fill out all the appropriate paper work and get your smoke alarm.”

Andalusia Fire Russell McGlamory said that the Andalusia Fire Department has also partnered with the Alabama Fire College and that they have already installed 30 to 35 smoke detectors.

“We were given 100 though so we have plenty more to give out,” McGlamory said.

McGlamory said that there is no stipulation for income or who could receive the smoke detectors.

“Anybody can receive the smoke detectors, so if you don’t have one or need more you can stop by,” McGlamory said. “If you are in the city limits then we can also install it for you.”

McGlamory said that people regularly forget to replace the batteries in their smoke detectors.

“Putting yourself in danger is not worth keeping your smoke detector unplugged or without a battery,” McGlamory said. “It happens all the time, so if you’re cooking and you don’t want it to go off, just move it a little so you won’t have to take out the batteries.”

With the time change on the horizon, McGlamory suggests that everyone go ahead and change the battery on their smoke detectors.

“It is a simple fix,” McGlamory said. “They should be changed about every six months, so if you change it with the time changes then you won’t have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night to chirping.”

Anyone interested in getting a smoke alarm, should contact the local fire department. The Andalusia department can be reached at 334.222.1121. The Opp department can be reached at 334.493.7015. The Florala department can be reached at 334.858.5884.