COLUMBIA — The Columbia Fire Department is offering free smoke alarms to Columbia residents who can't afford to buy one themselves.
The Fire Department bought a small number of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms using donations from the Share the Light program, said Battalion Chief Steven Sapp.
Steven Sapp, a battalion chief in the Columbia Fire Department, said a major concern is that people's smoke detectors often don't work.
A study by the National Fire Protection Association reported that from 2005 to 2009 about two-thirds of home fire deaths across the U.S. happened in homes without working smoke alarms.
The state's fire marshal urged people to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when they set their clocks back this weekend.
The fire protection association provides basic smoke alarm safety tips on its website.
Share the Light supports city projects to improve quality of life. Donors can choose the areas to which they contribute; this year they've given $2,000 to the fire department.
The free smoke alarms are available by calling or stopping by the Fire Department.