Insurance Commish donates smoke alarms

by Sarah Fay Campbell


Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, right, presents 60 smoke alarms to the Coweta County Fire Department. Accepting the alarms are Tyler Willis, left, and Alan Storey. 

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens presented 60 smoke alarms to the Coweta County Fire Department, as part of Operation Safe Home.

Hudgens presented the smoke alarms during a meeting of the Coweta-Fayette Rotary Club Monday, where he was the featured speaker.

Operation Safe Home provides free smoke alarms to Georgia citizens who otherwise would not be able to afford them. The smoke alarms are purchased with private funds, not taxpayer dollars.

“Most fire fatalities occur in the home and most occur when people are sleeping,” Hudgens said. “Having a smoke alarm in your home can mean the difference between life and death. In fact, statistics consistently show that having a working smoke alarm in the house doubles your chance of getting out alive.”

Having a smoke alarm is important — but it’s just as important to make sure the alarm is functioning properly.

It’s recommended that people check their smoke alarms twice a year, when the time changes. Alarms should be cleaned to remove dust, and the recommendation is that batteries be changed at least once a year.

Daylight saving time begins on March 9 at 2 a.m.

The International Association of Firefighters recommends that people not only check their smoke alarms when time changes, but consider upgrading some of their smoke alarms to photoelectric versions. The newer — and more expensive — photoelectric style alarms are less susceptible to “nuisance alarms” — such as those from overcooking food, and are well suited for kitchen use. They are also better at detecting smoldering fires than standard smoke ionization smoke alarms.

It’s recommended that all homes have a mix of photoelectric and ionization alarms. In addition to talking about fire safety at Monday’s Rotary Club meeting, Hudgens discussed current state statistics related to the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, and gave an update on current legislation related to his office, the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner.

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