Tribal communities receive free smoke alarms
Choctaw Fire Department is offering free smoke alarm installations in Tribal communities, thanks to a donation from the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The Fire Marshal’s Office received a $500,000 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
With this grant, they purchased nearly 45,000 smoke alarms with the goal of distributing them to fire stations across the state.
With the assistance of these donations, the Choctaw Fire Department has installed free smoke alarms in 10 homes so far, and they still have about 160 alarms left.
Their priority is installing alarms in the homes of the elderly and families with young children.
Liaison Officer Marco Patrick said that the response in Tribal communities has been fantastic.
“They are just so thankful, and it really opens their eyes because they start asking questions. It’s been a really good experience,” Patrick said.
It's essential to remember that smoke alarms should be tested every month and replaced every 10 years, fire officials say.
After each installation, these alarms undergo thorough testing to ensure they are working correctly. If they are found to be malfunctioning, they are replaced promptly. Smoke detectors also need to be placed in every sleeping area and on every level of a home, officials said.
"We recently experienced two fatalities in the Pearl River community that affected not only that community but also our department and personnel,” said Patrick. “A year before that, there was a report of a house fire where everyone made it out of the house. They lost everything, but they had their lives and working smoke detectors. That's a testament to how working smoke detectors can save lives."
He continued, "The impact I would like to see is an even greater awareness within the community. Our current campaign aims to ensure that the entire community has working smoke detectors."
Homeowners in Tribal communities can arrange an appointment with Patrick by calling (601) 656-0620 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the free smoke alarms.