State Fire Marshal Alan Shuman, Assistant Fire Marshal Chris Stephens and State Fire Inspector Jimmy Crawley visited the Thomson Fire Station last Thursday on an awareness campaign. Marshal Shuman also delivered smoke alarms to Chief Rick Sewell to be distributed free of charge to elderly and low income residents.
"People who have smoke alarms have a 50 percent better chance of surviving a fire in their house than those not having one," Marshal Shuman said.
Marshal Shuman said October is Fire Awareness Month and the fire department encourages everyone to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when they change the time on their clocks for the end of Daylight Savings Time.
As the temperatures get cooler, Marshal Shuman said people start additional heat sources to warm their homes, and these sources can cause fires if left unattended. He said many fires also start when people begin their holiday cooking and forget they have food on the stove.
The Marshal said they are trying to get the message out for people to pay more attention, make and practice a plan in case of a fire, and install smoke detectors. He said home fire drills are not mandated by the state like school fire drills are.
"In the last six years, I have not seen any children killed in a school fire," the Marshal said. "But unfortunately, it has happened in house fires. So people need to make a plan and practice it so they will know what to do if the time comes."
The Thomson City Fire Chief agrees.
"The key is to make a plan and practice it, and it could save your life," Chief Sewell said.
Not only are the smoke alarms being given away free, but the firemen will install them for elderly people who are unable to do so themselves. For more information, visit the station on Main Street in Thomson, or call during weekday business hours at 706-595-6133.