Firefighters to distribute 400 smoke detectors

By The Associated Press

GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) — Gautier firefighters’ new campaign to educate the public on the use of smoke detectors will include the distribution of 400 detectors around town.

Deputy Fire Chief Charles Thornburg tells the Mississippi Press that in the past three years there have been two residential fire deaths in Gautier and in both cases smoke detectors were not in use.

He said firefighters will install the detectors to the manufacturer’s specifications, he said.

Thornburg said the department has three devices:

— A battery-operated smoke alarm that lasts 10 years.

— A SafeAwake that is triggered by the smoke alarm and fits under a mattresses and vibrates if the alarm sounds.

— A strobe light that is triggered by the alarm.

Thornburg said last time the fire department offered to install the smoke alarms was in 2006 and about 250 were installed free of charge, she said. He says the target audience for the program is the hearing impaired, he said.

“But whoever approaches us in need of a smoke detector we are going to install them in their house,” he said.

The smoke detectors and alarms are installed at no cost to city residents. The primary recipients are to be senior citizens, low-income households, physically impaired and household with children 14 years of age and younger.

Thornburg said a smoke detector should be installed in the hall of each level of a house and in every bedroom.