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November 2013
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Replace Your Battery, Replace Your Smoke Detector, New Vibrating Smoke Detectors For The Hearing Imparied


Fire Pub

When the time changes, everyone has heard it is time to change your smoke detector battery. How many people remember to do that?

The facts and figures for having a working smoke detector can not be denied. In South Carolina, there were 39 fire deaths since January, 2013. Two of those deaths were in Horry County.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, two thirds of home fire deaths were in homes without a working smoke detector. The pain of being burnt in a fire is unimaginable or waking up and being smothered by smoke as you gasp for breath and try to get out of a burning building would be a horrendous experience.

Batteries for your smoke alarm run less than a dollar and a new detector will cost around $6.00 to $20.o0. All local fire departments in Horry county will come and change your battery for you at no charge. A list of phone numbers can be found at the end of the post.

Les Williamson, Fire Marshall with North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue said that it is important that the battery be replaced in the electrical powered smoke detectors so that they will work during a power outage. This is important since people generally light candles during a power outage which results in a greater chance of fire.

Williamson also said that if you rent your home or apartment, the landlord is required to replace batteries or install a new smoke detector.

Kathy Nieuwenhuis, who is Public Education Officer with Horry County Fire Rescue said that most people don’t realize that smoke detectors should be replaced after 10 years. This includes both battery powered and electric smoke detectors that are wired into your home.

Smoke detectors have a small amount of radioactive ions that slowly stop working after a number of years. This may make an older smoke detector completely stop working or delay the activation of the alarm.

Nieuwenhuis said that Horry County has received grants that allow them to install or replace alarms in peoples homes that can not afford to buy new systems.

She said that they have received a new type of alarm system that vibrates. These are for those who are either deaf or hearing impaired. When the detector is activated from smoke, the alarm starts to “shake and vibrate” alerting the residents and allowing them to escape. Nieuwenhuis said that she could hear the “shaking outside of the house”.

These systems are provided at no cost and Horry County Fire Rescue will come out and install the system at no charge. If you know of someone who needs a vibrating detector/alarm, contact Nieuwenhuis at 915-7061.

All the fire departments in Horry county will replace your battery if you are unable to climb and will install a smoke detector if you can not afford a new one.

Don’t become one of the U.S. Fire Administration’s statistics. If you have a smoke detector that needs a new or replacement battery, call your local fire department. If you don’t have a smoke detector and can’t afford one, call your local fire department. If you or someone you know is hearing impaired and would like a vibrating smoke alarm, call Kathy Nieuwenhuis.

Please keep us from coming out to your home for a fire, unless it is in your bar-b-que pit and you are inviting us to dinner.


Horry County Fire Rescue 915-7061

North Myrtle Beach Fire/Rescue 280-5615

For information on smoke detectors, use the link below.

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