• Carey Meitzler

Picayune Fire Department wants to keep you safe with free smoke detectors


The Picayune Fire Department is committed to saving lives by helping you, the citizens of Picayune, get out of your houses before the unthinkable might occur; a fire in your house filling it up with dangerous, life-threatening smoke.

Your friends with the Picayune Fire Department are ready to help you by providing smoke alarms free of charge through a state sponsored grant program which has its origin with National Fire Protection Association’s Vision 2020.

Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown stated, “We received a grant from the Mississippi Fire Marshall’s office for smoke alarms that is mainly focused on helping the elderly, people who live alone, single moms with small children, and those in older homes. The program is restricted to single family residence dwellings and non-rental properties.”

Barry Lee, Assistant Fire Chief, stated, “You would be surprised at the number of houses that do not have smoke detectors. A lot of times, the battery will go out on a detector and some people throw away the whole unit instead of changing the battery. We want to setup early detection and hopefully save lives.”

Fire Chief Keith Brown said the current program has been in effect for about two years. To find out if you qualify for the smoke detectors, Brown says it’s really easy; all you have to do is call the Picayune Fire Department.

Lee says this program is much more than just giving citizens a smoke detector.

“We are focused on fire safety, mainly early detection. We take the time to survey the residence, ensure that the right number of smoke detectors are placed in the home, and more importantly in the right places such near bedrooms.”

Lee added, “We not only put up the detectors, we look for hazards that may be present in the house and educate the occupants of the house how to avoid creating problems for easy exit of the house. One of our biggest focuses is to provide training while we are with our citizens and we have pamphlets to leave behind to promote fire safety after we finish the installation.”

Over the last ten years, Picayune Fire Department has deployed over 2,000 detectors and Lee stated that “now is a good time for anyone who has a detector they got from us around 2008-2009. A lot of those units have either reached or are about to reach the end of the line for their service.”

Chief Brown said, “We just want to get the word out and encourage our citizens to give us a call at the fire department. We will setup an appointment to come out to their place and make a determination at that point if they qualify, and if so, we’ll turn right around and put them in for them.”

Assistant Chief Lee added, “This program recommends that you have a smoke detector in each sleeping area and then have one outside each sleeping area which is based on National Fire Protection Association regulations.”

Both Brown and Lee emphasized the quality of these smoke detectors and what a great opportunity this is to help the citizens of Picayune.

Lee explained, “The units we have are very high quality and come equipped with a 10 year sealed lithium battery. They are designed to easily allow a person to check the status of the battery by using something as common as a broom stick to push the test button.”

Chief Brown stated there is a limited number for this current program, so he is encouraging everyone to call as soon as possible to take advantage of this great program. Citizens are encouraged to call the Picayune Fire Department at 601-798-6513 to get an appointment set up for a house inspection.

October is national Fire Prevention Month and now is the time to prepare your house.


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