Shreveport firefighters use fire prevention to save lives

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –Walking door to door Shreveport firefighters went to about 500 homes in the Highland Neighborhood on Saturday morning.  At each house they asked the same question.

"Do you have smoke alarms in your house anywhere?" Captain Paul Stephenson asked Connie Williams.

"If it is, it's probably in the hallway or the kitchen," she answered.

Williams did have 2 smoke detectors, but they wouldn't do her much good in a fire.  Neither had batteries in it, so the firefighters put in new batteries.  Now, if she ever does have a fire in her home, she feels she'll be prepared.

"I'm glad they checked because I hadn't touched them in awhile so I wasn't sure if it was working or not to be honest with you." said Williams.

If anyone did not have smoke detectors, they installed them for free. The Shreveport Fire Department has also gone door to door in the Cedar Grove, Allendale, and Queensboro neighborhoods.

"Having a working smoke detector in your home is a matter of life and death. The average fire happens between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. We're asleep during that time, so we need something to wake us up so we can get out of the house and get out safely," said Assistant Chief Pat Dyas.

Since the fire department started the door to door campaign a few years ago, they've seen a decrease in fire deaths.  They have recorded only 3 this year compared to 8 a few years ago.  They think their efforts to get smoke detectors in more homes impacts that,  and they hope to see that number keep dropping.

The fire department hopes to install or give away about on1,000 smoke detectors this year alone. All the smoke detectors were donated, mostly by Lowe's.

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