Battery-powered smoke detector alarms are available for free from Pickens County fire stations and the City of Jasper firehouse to county residents without an alarm at home. .
Alarms being given away were purchased on the initiative of Community Thrift Store founder, Don Russell, with funds generated through the Thrift Store, Pickens County Fire Chief Bob Howard explained.
"Each fire station, they have smoke detectors to give to folks that don't have one," Howard said. "All they need to do is just go by the station and just sign for one. Supplies are limited," he added.
At right, Firefighter Zack Petty of Marble Hill outside the City of Jasper Firehouse with one of the smoke detector alarms now available for free to county residents without one.
Howard advised that while all county fire stations have a supply of smoke detectors to give, including volunteer stations, such volunteer stations are not manned round the clock. That sometimes makes it difficult to catch firefighters at the station house. Check with your local fire department first, Chief Howard recommended, and if nobody is home there, stop by one of the three firehouses in the county manned round the clock.
Howard said those round-the-clock stations are the City of Jasper firehouse on Burton Street, Pickens County Station 11 on Upper Salem Church Road near the airport, and the county's Grandview Station on Cove Road near Bent Tree Drive.
Each alarm includes a battery to power it and installation instructions. In most cases, installing the alarm is up to the recipient.
"If someone is disabled and doesn't have a family member or neighbor to help them install theirs, then we'd be able to work something out to help them with it," Howard said.
A working smoke detector alarm is a resident's best first defense in the event of a home fire. Being alerted that your dwelling is afire before it completely fills with smoke can make the difference in surviving or not.