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City to hand out smoke alarms

By Stephen Dawkins

The Jemison Fire Department hopes to soon have working smoke alarms in every home in the city.
The department received a grant through the Alabama Smoke Alarm Initiative. An event at 10 a.m. on April 10 at Jemison Fire Station One will mark the beginning of an effort that will include firefighters going door-to-door, providing fire safety information and asking if they can install a new alarm.
“They give us the alarms for free, and we install it for free if [the homeowner] will let us,” Jemison Fire Chief John Dennis said. “Statistics show there are 1.4 (fire-related) deaths per 100,000 people. In Chilton County, that number is 2.8 That’s why we sought out a program like this.”
The kick-off event will feature refreshments and the chance for the public to meet Jemison firefighters and local officials, and to learn more about the initiative.
Firefighters will begin canvassing the city on April 12, paying special attention to high-risk areas, which Dennis defined as apartments and other multi-family dwellings.
The Jemison Fire Department on March 18 received training from state officials on the initiative, which is administered by the Alabama Department of Public Health in conjunction with the state Fire Marshal’s Office.
Dennis estimated that firefighters could end up installing 500 alarms in Jemison by June 15, the planned end date for the effort.