Fire department says smoke detectors are cheap life insurance

MARQUETTE — The clocks spring forward for the start of Daylight Savings Time Saturday night. Fire departments around the country use the occasion to remind people of what they call the cheapest type of life insurance policy you can own.

The National Fire Protection Association says about one-fourth of American homes don’t have any working smoke detectors.

The Marquette Fire Department recommends having working smoke alarms in specific places. Every bedroom and every hallway should have one. The basement should also have one.

“You’re more than twice as likely to survive a house fire if you have a working smoke detector,” Marquette Fire Department Lt. Jeff Green said. “Really, for $5 to $10, to have a working smoke detector in your home, you increase your chances of surviving a fire by 50%.”

And it may not even have to cost you that much. The Marquette Fire Department may be able to give you a new smoke detector, and a nine-volt battery to put in it, for free.

Anyone older than 65, and anyone who has a family member under the age 14 living with them, qualifies for the program. They once had grant money allowing for free detectors for anyone at all, but that program has expired.