Walker County Emergency Services is installing smoke alarms in the homes of area residents and the alarms are absolutely free.

“Every home needs a smoke alarm, not to mention it is state law that every home have a smoke alarm. They provide many benefits to the homeowner. Smoke alarms save lives and property by alerting the occupant to early notification of a fire,” Walker County Emergency Services Chief Randy Camp said of his department’s initiative.

The smoke alarms being installed by Walker County Emergency Services are being furnished by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control from a federal grant.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the people of our county to make sure their homes are probably outfitted with these devices,” Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell said. “Smoke alarms can save lives and can potentially reduce property loss in the event of a fire.”

The alarms being installed are closed units, which mean they have a battery that is good for up to 10 years. Residents are instructed to simply press the button on the alarm monthly, using a broom handle, to make sure they are operating correctly.

According to information provided by captain of administrative services Tracie Napier Reece, Walker County Emergency Services has installed 1,806 alarms through the end of February in 919 homes. Of these, 50 were hearing-impaired alarms. The hearing-impaired alarms were received through an Assistance to Firefighters Grant, administered by FEMA.

Reece said, “Walker County Emergency Services has two documented saves, compliments of alarms we installed.”

The fire department is also recommending residents who use gas to heat or cook install carbon monoxide alarms.

“We are not supplying the carbon monoxide alarms; however, the fire department will install them free to any citizen who needs assistance,” Camp said.

The smoke alarm installation initiative is a free service provided every Walker County resident living in the unincorporated areas and the City of Chickamauga, regardless of income.

“We are happy to do this,” Camp said.

Those interested in having the Walker County Fire Department come to their home to install alarms should call (706) 764-1900 for more information.

Walker County Messenger