Time changes Sunday at 2 a.m.
by Wes Mayer
With daylight saving time coming to an end early Sunday, local fire safety officials are reminding residents this is a good time to check the home’s smoke detectors.
Cowetans will be turning their clocks back one hour tonight before bedtime — remember the saying “spring forward, fall back” — and it is a good time to put fresh batteries in smoke detectors.
For those who may not have working live-saving smoke detectors, the Newnan and Coweta County fire departments provide free smoke detectors to all homeowners in need of replacements. The Newnan Fire Department has several hundred smoke detectors available for city residents at Fire Station 1 on Jefferson Street, and all other citizens in the county can call the Coweta County Fire Department’s headquarters on Turkey Creek Road to request new smoke detectors.
“We believe that working smoke detectors throughout our community will lead to early detection of a fire, which will lead to early evacuation of the home, along with early activation of our 911 Center,” said Deputy Fire Chief Todd Moore with the county fire department. That “combined with a quick notification and response of fire crews will save lives and property within our community,” he said. Moore said the time changes in spring and fall are definitely a great opportunity to check a home’s smoke detection system. Batteries should be replaced twice a year, he said. If in need of a replacement unit, all Coweta residents need to do is call the county fire department with their requests, and fire personnel will be happy to bring smoke detectors to their homes and install them.
In the past, Moore said, the Coweta County Fire Department would target certain areas of the community that were more prone to fire-related incidents, and through this Safe Community Initiative assist door to door by installing new smoke detectors. The program is free to all homeowners.
The last neighborhoods the fire department focused on were the Sweet Briar and South Oak mobile home parks. In the next couple of weeks, Moore will be meeting with fire personnel to decide which communities would be the next best targets of the initiative.
Newnan Fire Chief David Whitley also said the time change means it is time to change those batteries. At the moment, the Newnan Fire Department has about 300 to 400 smoke detectors available at Fire Station 1 downtown, and residents are welcome to come by to pick up a box of three smoke detectors while supplies last.
The minimum number of smoke detectors in every home is three, Whitley said, one each for the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom. Depending on the layout and square footage of each home, more smoke detectors may be required.
“Life safety is our concern,” said Newnan Fire Marshal Tim Cox. “So feel free to contact the fire department if you need any other assistance concerning changing batteries or smoke detectors.”
The Newnan Fire Department’s smoke detectors are leftover from the 1,100 donated by 11Alive news in May. Whitley said the fire department has been handing out smoke detectors at public fire safety events, and the department hopes to launch another campaign soon, possibly in December.
The Newnan Fire Department can be reached at 770-253-1851, and the Coweta County Fire Department at 770-254-3900.