Check your smoke alarms as the time changes -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Check your smoke alarms as the time changes

Nature Malone Nature Malone
Chief Carswell Chief Carswell
Deadly fire in Ocilla Deadly fire in Ocilla
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  State fire officials are asking you to check your smoke alarms this weekend, since we switch to Daylight Saving Time, Saturday night.

There have already been 28 fire deaths in Georgia this year, which the American Red Cross calls 'exceptional.' They and firefighters urge you to take steps to protect your family.

The obnoxious sound of a smoke alarm could save your life, if you have a fire in the night. The Red Cross is sponsoring a campaign to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home. Disaster specialists say there is no smoke alarm in close to 80 percent of the home fires they respond to.

"It's amazing some people don't want a smoke alarm," said Red Cross disaster specialist Nature Malone.

Firefighters say they often see victims who thought fires only happen to other people. During the time change this weekend, they urge you to change the batteries in your smoke alarms, test them, and make sure you have an escape plan in case of fire.

"Those are the kind of things you have to do before the fire. And if wait until it's the first thing you think about, it may be the last thing you ever think about. You have to properly plan," AFD Chief James Carswell said.

State officials say there were 106 fire fatalities in 2014 in Georgia. Already this year there have been 28. American Red Cross officials say don't put it off or make excuses, this weekend take the time to check your smoke alarm.

"They just don't want to be bothered at that moment in time. But they don't know if a beep of the smoke detector can save their lives," Malone said.

Fire officials don't want you to end up being a death statistic. If you can't afford a smoke alarm, call the Red Cross at 436-4845 and they will give you one, and if you can't put it up, they have volunteers to help you.

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