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EFD will give away 2,000 smoke alarms

Photo by Brandon Hicks

October is fire prevention month, and homes in Elizabethton will soon receive thousands of free smoke alarms to help improve fire safety.
That’s right. Thousands of alarms.
Elizabethton Fire Marshal Jack Buckles said a partnership with the state fire marshal’s office has provided the Elizabethton Fire Department with 2,004 smoke alarms.. These smoke alarms are being offered free to homes without them and will be installed by members of the EFD.
“This is great news for Elizabethton as the alarms will be immediately available for installation and will be free,” Buckles said.
Buckles said the smoke alarms have 10-year lithium sealed batteries and retail for around $20 in stores. The value of the donated smoke alarms is around $40,000.
“Simply put, smoke alarms save lives,” Buckles said. “Smoke spreads fast when there is a fire, and smoke alarms give you time to get out. Smoke alarms could reduce your risk of dying from a fire in your home by almost half. We will be installing these and while we are at your house we will be happy to assist you with any questions about making your home safer.”
Buckles said interested people could call EFD Fire Station 1 at 542-5421 to arrange an appointment to have an alarm installed. He explained the EFD had to do the installation to make sure they are in the correct position in the home and to be able to give the state an accurate count of how they were used.
The EFD will also be partnering with the American Red Cross and Grace Baptist Church to complete community-wide installations in two neighborhoods, helping the EFD to secure more than 2,000 smoke alarms.
“First, Grace Baptist contacted me and asked if the fire department could do 9-volt battery replacement,” Buckles said. “I said we could probably do better than that. The same day, the Red Cross called and asked about doing a smoke alarm program.”
After contacting the state, the EFD was able to obtain the alarms for the city.
The first distribution will take place on Saturday, Oct. 11, with assistance from the Red Cross, and will cover the areas of West Riverside, Merry and Cambridge Drives; Mill, Ash, Mulberry, Hemlock, Hickory, Walnut, North Roan, Manning, Race, Locust, Willow, Barker and Graham Streets; Cambridge and Cottage Avenues; and Majestic View Court.
Grace Baptist Church will be working with the EFD on Nov. 1 to cover Lynn Valley from U.S. Highway 19E to the city limits.
“We will also be partnering with other organizations in the area that will assist in the installations of the alarms,” Buckles said. “We need more organizations that want to help out.” Any group interested in helping can call Buckles at 292-3843.