Tulsa Firefighters Hand Out Smoke Detectors

Saturday, April 25th 2009, 5:41 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- They say when there's smoke, there's fire. But Tulsa firefighters want you to know the smoke can be the deadliest part.

Dozens of firefighters drove to more than 2,000 houses in Tulsa on Saturday offering free smoke detectors as part of Project Life.

The smoke detector and two AA batteries can mean the difference between life and death.

The Tulsa Fire Department is going door-to-door this weekend to make sure they're working.

Crews are focusing their efforts on homes in a one-square mile between 21st and 31st streets in midtown.

Last year the neighborhood had 16 house fires, and the area is home to many elderly residents.

"I don't know if everything's working OK," homeowner Jim West said. "They know. ADT knows. And good, I want them out here. I admire the fire department."

Hope Roy is an 86-year-old grandmother who says it's difficult for her to change the batteries by herself.

Firefighters told Roy her detector was out-dated, and she got a new one.

"I just don't want to be in this house if it catches on fire, or whatever," she said. "I'm just scared of fire."

Firefighters say in the majority of house fires, the flames are not the biggest danger.

"Most of the time people die in fire from smoke inhalation," Tulsa firefighter Ryan Garrett said. "And that's because they're trying to get out of the house, or sometimes they just get caught lying in bed."

The smoke detector is the best prevention. You can get one for free by calling the Tulsa Fire Department's non-emergency line at 596-9444 or 596-9420. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.