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Long Co. fire department program delivers free smoke detectors to needy families
0916 Smoke detector
Long County/Ludowici Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Richard Truman holds one of the smoke detectors that his department is giving away. - photo by Mikee Riddle

The Long County/Ludowici Volunteer Fire Department has begun a program that puts free smoke detectors in the homes of families in need.

According to Assistant Chief Richard Truman, the program was started to help low-income families in the city and county who may not be able to afford to buy a smoke detector for their home.

“Smoke detectors save lives. They alert the occupants of a fire, and we know that everyone doesn’t have one in their home,” Truman said. “Now we are coming out and installing a free one for those families who can’t afford one.”

Truman said that even though the department is able to give free smoke detectors only to low-income families, he hopes they eventually may be able to offer a program for everyone.

“If we could, we would give them out to everyone, but we just can’t afford to do that,” Truman said. “But what we are doing for everyone is that if someone wants us to inspect theirs, or if they have one and need us to install it for them, we will come out and do that for them. All they have to do is contact us.”

According to Truman, around 3,500 people die every year in home fires; in about 90 percent of those cases, the people do not have an operational smoke detector. He said most people don’t know that the department is offering the program.

“We’ve only been able to help two homes so far, and we want to get the word out that we do have a smoke detector program,” Truman said.

Truman thanked the Georgia Department of Public Health for providing the detectors.

Truman added that people should remember to check their smoke detector every month to make sure it works and to change the detector’s batteries every six months.

For more information on qualifying for a free smoke detector in Long County, or for a smoke-detector inspection, call Capt. Tyler Hall at 545-2244.

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