Tuscaloosa Fire Department steps up “smoke alarm blitz” efforts

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — For the third time in 2015, Tuscaloosa firefighters went door to door, to make sure residents had working smoke alarms.

While the Tuscaloosa Fire Department has been doing “smoke alarm blitzes” for several years, Fire Marshal Gene Holcomb said the department has been doing them more often because 2015 saw five fire-related deaths in the city.

That’s more than the previous four years, all combined.

“We see more often than not, if it has a working smoke alarm, then it alerts the residents and they get up and get out of the house,” Holcomb said. “These five we know did not have a working smoke alarm.”

Firefighters installed more than 100 fire alarms during Monday’s blitz.

Many of the recipients were unaware that the program existed, but were thankful for it.

“I’m glad they showed up,” said Fannie Walker, who now has a working smoke alarm. “I purchased one, but I never could get it to work right. It’s under the sofa somewhere.”

Holcomb said anyone living in the City of Tuscaloosa can call the fire department to get their smoke alarm check, or get a new one installed for free. He said county residents can do the same by calling the Red Cross at (205) 758-3608.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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