Renee Miller knows first-hand how having a working smoke detector can save lives. The Shreveport mother says that's what gave her family a chance to get out of their burning home safely earlier this year.
It's stories like Miller's that the Shreveport Fire Department is hoping will hit home for others, as they begin their annual campaign to install smoke alarms in neighborhood homes. On Saturday, the focus was on houses in the Highland neighborhood.
The annual campaign to install free smoke alarms in neighborhood homes is funded by grant money, driven by a desire to prevent the loss, injury and death that can start with a spark or even just a smolder and end in devastation.
That's why Shreveport firefighters are going door-to-door this weekend installing free smoke detectors in Highland neighborhood homes. "It's about prevention, it's about early detection. It's so that a family, if something happens in their home, and a fire occurs, they'll be woken up and they'll be able to get out before the fire gets to a level where they can't," says Shreveport Fire Department's Chief Scott Wolverton.
Renee Miller says their smoke detector may have saved their lives. "We were in our home, asleep and I heard the smoke detector going off," says Renee Miller, whose house burned down in February. "My first instinct was, 'Oh my God, go get my baby.' I got my baby out."
She and her 7-month-old baby made it out alive, crawling under the thick smoke. "If those had not been in there, I don't think me and my child and my boyfriend, we probably would not have made it out of that fire."
The Shreveport Fire Department says they install about 1,000 free smoke detectors a year. "Just to think back on it now just kind of brings tears to my eyes, because you never think that it was you," Miller says.
Because even if they had been alerted even a few minutes later, "By the time we all got out of the house and was walking down the street, is when it just popped and went up in flames, it was over."
The Shreveport Fire Department gets these free smoke detectors from grants each year. If you want a free smoke detector installed, Shreveport fire will come to you. Just call: 318-673-6740.
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