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Smoke alarms critical in protecting lives, property

As temperatures dipped into the 30s lastweek, many residents likely turned on the heat or lit a fire in thefireplace for the first time this year.

    Unfortunately, this seasonal ritual also brings with it the risk ofhouse fires. But smoke alarms go a long way toward helping minimizethe danger of a fire getting out of control.

    To assist those who may need help getting these life-saving devicesfor their homes, the Brookhaven Fire Department is continuing itsinvolvement in a program to install smoke alarms for homes in thecity where the elderly, disabled or children under age 14 areliving. The free smoke alarm program is for homeowners inside thecity limits; rental properties are not eligible, said BFD ChiefTony Weeks.

    The smoke alarms were provided as part of a $1 million grantthrough the State Marshal’s Office last year. Weeks estimatedfirefighters installed around 100 smoke alarms through the programin 2010, and he said the department still has about the same numberof alarms available this year.

    “We’ve got them, and we just need to get them out there,” Weekssaid.

    Eligible homeowners can call the BFD at (601) 833-3008 to inquireabout the free smoke alarm program.

    And even if you already have smoke alarms, remember they won’t workunless the battery is functioning. So do a battery check everymonth and change the battery at least once a year. This simpleprecautionary measure can protect your home and even save yourlife.