published Friday, March 8th, 2013

Free smoke alarms, batteries to be given away Saturday in Chattanooga

Chattanooga firefighters, along with staff and volunteers with the American Red Cross, will distribute free smoke alarms and batteries in a residential area located roughly along Tunnel Boulevard from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

This event coincides with the weekend when clocks should be moved forward one hour to Daylight Saving Time on Saturday, said Bruce Garner, fire department public information director.

Garner said having working smoke alarms is critical. These devices greatly lower people’s chance of dying in a fire.

Garner offered these tips:

— One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a “Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm.”

— Place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of every level of your home and outside bedrooms. Children and older people can sleep though the loud sound of a smoke alarm.

— If you keep your bedroom doors closed, place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of each bedroom.

— Check smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button.

— Never take smoke alarm batteries out to put into other items like games or remote controls.

— Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear the alarm sound.

— If there is a fire, leave the home right away by crawling low under the smoke and never go back inside.

— If smoke from cooking makes the alarm sound, press the “hush” button, if your alarm has one. You can also turn on the kitchen fan, open a window or wave a towel near the alarm until it stops making the sound. Never take the battery out of the alarm.

— Most alarms need a new battery at least once a year. Some smoke alarms have batteries that last for up to 10 years. If your smoke alarm is over 10 years old, replace it with a new alarm and a new battery.

— If you rent, talk to your landlord about placing a working smoke alarm in your home. You still need to buy a new battery at least once a year for the alarm.

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