Picayune Fire Department offering free smoke detectors to senior citizens
Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 12, 2017
Structure fires can be dangerous, especially when they occur while the residents are asleep.
The best protection against that danger is to have a working smoke detector installed in the home.
To ensure those in need have this protection, the Picayune Fire Department is offering free smoke detectors to senior citizens and the disabled residing in the city limits, said Picayune Fire Marshal Pat Weaver.
The detectors were provided by the State Fire Marshal’s office, with some also being provided by the American Red Cross. Each device comes with a 10-year non-replaceable battery, said Training Officer John Albert Mitchell.
To request some of these devices, senior citizens and residents with a handicap should call the department at 601-798-7862 or 601-799-0614. A representative with the department will collect the pertinent information and determine eligibility, said Janet Guidry, the department’s secretary.
Once eligibility has been confirmed, an appointment will be set for two firefighters to install the appropriate number of smoke detectors in the home.
Mitchell said the program is only for residential structures within the city limits of Picayune. A typical installation will include smoke detectors in each bedroom and in the hallway outside of those rooms.
Once the installation is complete, Mitchell will provide the residents with pamphlets filled with fire safety tips.
The program will last as long as the department can acquire the devices, so a deadline has not been set.
Over the course of the past few years, there have been at least three deaths in the city of Picayune caused by a fire, Mitchell said.
Weaver said that statewide, there were 38 fire related deaths last year, and there have been 20 so far this year.
In addition to maintaining smoke detectors at least once every three months, all households should also form a fire escape plan. Guidry said the escape plan can help families know who was able to escape a fire unharmed, and who may still be in the home. As part of a fire escape plan, families should determine one meeting point outside the home at a safe distance.
For more information on fire safety and creating an escape plan, visit http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire.