ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - Zachary city officials believe they have come up with a new way to make sure more of its residents have working smoke detectors. The city council passed an ordinance Tuesday night requiring building inspectors to look for smoke detectors before utilities are connected.
Not even one week into the new year, firefighters were faced with several deadly house fires. Zachary Fire Chief Danny Kimble won't soon forget the blaze on LA 19. A mother and her two young children died when a fire destroyed their mobile home. Fire investigators have not yet determined a cause, but Kimble says they do know the residence did not have working smoke detectors.
"It does save lives, and everybody needs them," Kimble said.
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office offers them free through the Operation Save a Life program. Installation is included. Chief Kimble says the campaign is working, but for one reason or another, some people choose to ignore the offer. For that reason, Zachary city leaders passed an ordinance aimed at equipping more homes with detectors. Kimble explains it requires a code inspector to check buildings for working smoke detectors before electricity is connected.
"The fire department will be notified of the address with no detectors. We will go out, meet with the people. We will offer to install the two detectors that we provide through the state fire marshal's office," Kimble said.
Kimble says the lights would still be turned on and the building owner would not be fined, but they would get a friendly reminder from his crew. "Our goal, along with the city, is to try to put a smoke detector in every home that we service," Kimble said.
The ordinance will go into effect in ten days.