Fire safety project returns to Georgetown after 19 year hiatus

By Ava

Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Georgetown City Fire Department along with 40 volunteers from the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club and the American Red Cross are knocking on every door of the 4,000 homes in town.{}

The volunteers first asked homeowners if they have a smoke detectors.

"Smoke detectors allow occupants early notifications of a fire and it could give them the added time that they need to escape if there is a fire in their home," said David Holcombe, City Fire Marshall.

During the blue ribbon safety campaign, fire fighters and volunteers are checking smoke detectors, giving out free detectors and batteries, then talking to homeowners about an escape plan.

"Practice their escape plan all times of the day and night because fire can occur any time," said Holcombe.

The fire department is also urging people to check smoke detectors every month. Holcombe suggests changing batteries twice each year when you change your clocks, in the fall and the spring.

"I think this will save lives and homes too," says homeowner Willie Lou Humes. Humes was surprised to see the fire department but she's grateful to receive new batteries for her smoke detector.{}

The South Carolina state fire Marshall drove from Columbia to see how the program works.{}

"We've had 60 fire fatalities across the state of South Carolina this year, and it's efforts like this that our office wants to support," said Marshall Shane Ray.

Ray says out of those 60 people who died, 96 percent died in house fires.{}