NEWNAN, Ga. -- Fifteen hundred smoke detectors with batteries were part of a giveaway campaign in Newnan this weekend, geared toward helping prevent tragedies like the one last week that claimed the lives of four children.
Firefighters say that if a fire breaks out in a home, a key to survival is a working smoke detector and a well-defined escape plan. Having home fire drills can also help residents know what to do to save their lives.
Saturday, the Newnan Fire Department, working with 11Alive's Help Desk, went door-to-door through neighborhoods in Newnan to make sure residents have the right tools to save their lives in the event of a fire.
"We want to try and make sure everybody is equipped with a good working smoke detector and here is a spare battery and just make sure when it starts chirping you can replace the old battery," said Newnan firefighter Cornell Rollins.
One homeowner said it was a wakeup call to check the batteries.
"I have one up but I have not checked it this year," he said.
"If you don't mind you need to check it every six months and make sure the batteries are good and operating," a firefighter told the homeowner. "I'm going to give you a couple of extra batteries just in case you need them."
One point that firefighters were quick to point out to homeowners was that just pulling a low battery to stop the alarm from chirping is not best way to approach the situation.
"A lot of people just take the battery out because it will make an alarm sound of a chirp which may keep them awake and they may just forget to get the battery once they pull it out." said Newnan Fire Battalion Chief Stephen Brown.
To make sure that every homeowner who needs a smoke alarms or battery gets one, the Newnam Fire Department will give them out at a special Fire Safety Day on Saturday, May 18, at the Westside School. Newnan homeowners can also call the Newnan Fire Department, at 770-253-1851 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. to arrange to get a free smoke alarm and free batteries.