The State Fire Marshal’s Office recently presented the McMinnville Fire Department with a supply of smoke alarms to be installed in homes within the community at high risk of fire. The department personnel attended an information session and training course on the new alarms, which were purchased with FEMA grant funds and utilize a lithium battery with a 10-year life span.
This statewide, months-long distribution of smoke alarms is all part of the State Fire Marshal’s effort to both educate and equip Tennesseans to incorporate fire safety into their daily lives.
“We want residents to make sure they have functional smoke alarms in their homes, as well as a rehearsed fire-escape plan. These are tools proven to save lives – because even one fire death is one too many,” says State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak.The alarms are free, but must be installed by the fire department or a partnering organization that has received the training course. Because supplies are limited, the fire department may need to give first preference to those who are not able to otherwise afford smoke alarms.
“We are excited to be able to partner with the State Fire Marshal’s Office in providing these smoke alarms for the citizens here in McMinnville “Fire can spread through a home in a matter of minutes and smoke alarms can give residents the warning needed to get out safely.”
To request an installation, call 931.473.6739 and provide your name, address, and phone number, or complete the online application. A fire department representative will then contact you to schedule a time for the installation.
In addition to having working smoke alarms, follow these other important tips to make sure your home is fire-safe:
- Always stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food.
- Check to see that matches and lighters are kept up high in a cabinet with a childproof lock.
- Develop a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and an outside meeting place. Share and practice the plan with every member of the household.
- Keep portable space heaters and candles 3 feet away from anything that can burn, including people, furniture, and pets.
- Always turn off portable space heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Have the chimney cleaned and checked regularly.
- Do not smoke in bed.
- Make sure that all matches and ashes are cool before being thrown away.
- Make sure that extension cords are in good condition and are used to power small items only – never major appliances.
For further information on fire safety, feel free to visit the State Fire Marshal’s Office website at tn.gov/commerce/fire-prevention. You also may download a home fire safety checklist at tn.gov/content/dam/tn/commerce/documents/fire_prevention/posts/Fire_Safety_List.pdf.