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It’s alarming that during a four-year period – 2009-2013 – approximately 940 deaths each year could have been prevented in the U.S. through the proper installation of smoke detectors. An additional 510 deaths per year could have been prevented with proper smoke detector maintenance during the same time period.

“It’s a tragedy any time we lose a life due to fire,” said Thomasville Fire Rescue Chief Chris Bowman. “But to lose a life to fire that could have been prevented by early notification from a smoke detector is simply unacceptable. That’s why we’re promoting our ‘It’s Alarming’ campaign to ensure that smoke detectors are present and functioning in as many homes within Thomasville as possible.”

Thomasville Fire Rescue has put boots on the ground in an effort to help save lives, and has installed hundreds of free smoke detectors in citizens’ homes already this year.

“We’re out in the community trying to do all we can to prevent loss of life,” said Fire Marshal Tim Connell. “We’ve been able to install about 300 smoke detectors already, and we’ve also checked batteries and ensured proper function in many more.”

As part of the “It’s Alarming” campaign, TFR has purchased smoke detectors and batteries which they will install in homes for free. Smoke detector inspections and installations can be scheduled through the Fire Rescue administration office at 100 South Crawford Street.

“Some of our citizens may have smoke detectors but not have the ability to check the batteries, so we’re offering our services to come in to homes and make sure that their smoke detectors are functioning properly,” Fire Marshal Connell said. “All a citizen has to do to participate is give us a call at 229-227-4099 to schedule their appointment. This is a free service sponsored by Thomasville Fire Rescue.”

“We can also provide this service to citizens residing in apartment complexes,” Fire Marshal Connell noted. “Citizens residing in an apartment complex with concerns about their smoke detectors are advised to speak with their complex managers. The apartment complex manager can give us permission to check and see that they have working smoke detectors.”

Citizens are advised to check their smoke detectors and change the batteries twice each year, in line with Daylight Savings Time.

“Remember: Change your clocks, change your batteries,” Fire Marshal Connell said. “This past weekend we set our clocks forward one hour, and citizens should also be sure to change out the batteries in their smoke detectors.”

“We are asking the community to help us to prevent injury and loss of life,” Chief Bowman said. “We want to ensure there are working smoke detectors in every home, because every life is important to us.”