Firefighters were out Friday in force, visiting neighbors in East Cleveland and installing alarms free of charge.
“We bought 500 alarms and Wholesale Supply Group matched one for one so we currently have 1,000 to give away to qualified families or individuals who may need alarms in their homes,” said Interim Fire Chief Troy Spence.
Spence said an additional 500 alarms are also expected to be a delivered from the state of Tennessee.
“Smoke alarms save lives and our qualified volunteers and professional firefighters are ready to begin installing them for residents. All it takes is a phone call to our offices,” Spence said.
Lee University’s CORE Team is also expected to help install the alarms.
CORE stands for Critical Operations Resource Element.
“Although our focus is on the elderly on a fixed income or those families who just can’t afford smoke alarms, anyone calling and requesting installation will be served,” Spence said.
“We are calling it a Christmas present. At this time of year, many families will have live Christmas trees. They will leave them up several days after Christmas and as time passes, the trees begin to lose their moisture,” he explained.
Dry needles and Christmas lighting present a fire hazard.
“But a smoke alarm is not just for warning of a Christmas tree fire, alternate heat sources such as space heaters have caused devastating fires and even fire-related deaths.
“Always remember the three-foot rule this holiday season and beyond. Never place a heat source within three-feet of furniture or other combustible materials,” Spence said.
Spence, who is wearing two hats for Bradley County at present, has been in the firefighting business for over 20 years, first as a volunteer with Bradley County Rescue and now as the interim chief and director of the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency.
“We have campaigned about the importance of keeping your family safe all throughout the year by making sure smoke alarms are working and maintaining battery checks. It has been several years since a fire caused death in Bradley County. We have aggressively educated and provide the residents in the past about the importance of fire safety and use of smoke alarms and are continuing to provide alarms at no cost,” Spence said.
Anyone needing alarms installed can contact Bradley County Fire Rescue at 728-7295 or 728-7293.