Region 8 FD installs smoke detectors free of charge - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Region 8 FD installs smoke detectors free of charge

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - It's simple: smoke detectors can save lives. That's why the Batesville Fire Department is handing out more than 500 detectors. And that's not all. They're installing them free of charge.

"It's better to do prevention, than it is to try and mop up the problem afterward," says Public Education Officer Mark McCollum with the Batesville Fire Department.

Which is why the department is offering free smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to people who live within the city limits. "We had a tax that we tried to get passed for this fire station and this truck. The public stood up and said, 'we want to help you,' and we just had to find some way to go back and help the people," says McCollum.

He says the department received a $2,500 grant from State Farm Insurance to purchase more than 500 smoke detectors. But decided to go a step further, and add fire extinguishers with the use of federal surplus money.

"We'll do it all. We'll put the smoke detectors up and we'll put the fire extinguisher in the house, everything," say McCollum.

All at no cost. The department started this nearly a year ago and have already installed more than 150 smoke alarms for residents. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, only 75-percent of all homes have at least one smoke detector that works efficiently.

Something McCollum hopes to change.  "I can't describe how important they are. I mean, there's no telling how many lives smoke detectors have saved," says McCollum.

McCollum says if you're interested, just give the department a call. Someone will come out and do a fire inspection, and equip you with the tools to prepare you in case of a fire. For more information, call the Batesville Fire Department at (870) 698- 2439.

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