Tryon Fire Department to hand out, install free smoke detectors

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 22, 2018

This Saturday, the Tryon Fire Department has a goal to give out and install 60 smoke detectors — for free — throughout the community, as a part of an initiative by the state of North Carolina and state Fire Marshal Mike Causey.

“There have been 91 fire deaths [in North Carolina] within the first six months of 2018, and if things continue as they are, there will be more,” said Tryon Fire Department Chief Geoff Tennant. “According to research, working smoke detectors [are] your best means of survival.”

In order to reduce the number of deaths and increase the safety of homes, Causey, the American Red Cross, Kidde fire safety products and Tryon Fire Department have joined forces to implement and fund the handing out of the free detectors.

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Dispatch will take place Saturday, where local firefighters will go door-to-door to ask if homeowners would like them to install the devices, free of charge. Tennant predicts, however, that the department will not be able to hand out all 60 fire alarms in one day, due to the lack of volunteers and fire department employees.

“I’m hoping to get approval of extending this project into the next few months to ensure everyone’s house is up to code with alarms,” Tennant said. “We hope to have all 60 alarms out and installed by the end of August.”

According to a recent release from Causey, the goal of the initiative is to provide the resources people need to take extra precautions from home fires, along with educating as many people as possible.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends residents to have one smoke alarm in each bedroom, along with a minimum of at least one in each hallway. A home with more than one story should have a minimum of one per floor, including basements, for the best opportunity to make homeowners aware of a house fire in any area of the home.

“I’ve been working in the fire department for 44 years and have worked six fire deaths in this county, and I feel very strongly that if there would’ve been working smoke detectors, lives would’ve been saved,” Tennant said. “If it saves just one life, it’s worth it, because that is always top priority and single most important thing on any first responder’s mind.”

To find out how to receive a free installation or get more information, people may contact Tennant at or 828-859-9566.