Free Smoke Alarms

Gaston Residents who own their own home and do not have a smoke detector are eligible to receive ONE free of charge.

Fire departments throughout Gaston County participate in a Smoke Detector Program and if you need a smoke detector please CLICK HERE and fill out the form online or call the Gaston County Fire Marshal's Office at (704) 866-3355.

When you call, you will need to give your name, address, and phone number.  Donations are accepted to help other families receive smoke detectors.

If you rent your home, your landlord is required by law to install a properly operating smoke detector.  You and/or your landlord take responsiblity for maintaining the smoke detector's battery. 

Smoke Alarm Facts:

Smoke detectors are designed to alert people to seek safety in the event of fires in dwellings and other buildings. But merely having the devices installed is not enough to ensure safety. Care and consideration must be given to choosing the right smoke detectors, proper installation and ensuring regular testing and maintenance.

Why you need them:

On average around 3,000 people die in residential fires every year in the United States, and the majority succumb to smoke or other deadly gasses. Meanwhile, National Fire Protection Association statistics show the death rate for every 100 reported fires was more than twice as high in homes without smoke detectors than at dwellings equipped with the devices. Simply put, smoke detectors provide the warning people need to clear out of buildings before flames and smoke become so intense that escape becomes impossible.

Safety Tips:

Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) should be installed in homes.
Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer's instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturer's instructions for testing and maintenance.
Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 year old or sooner if they do not respond properly.
Be sure the smoke alarm has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
Alarms that are hard-wired (and include battery backup) must be installed by a qualified electrician.
If cooking fumes or steam sets off nuisance alarms, replace the alarm with an alarm that has a "hush" button. A "hush" button will reduce the alarm’s sensitivity for a short period of time.
An ionization alarm with a hush button or a photoelectric alarm should be used if the alarm is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance.
Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound, may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice.
Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices use strobe lights. Vibration devices can be added to these alarms
Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.


© 2020 Gaston County Fire Fighters Association