Local News Articles

State Representative Mark Pody to Speak at Chamber Prayer Breakfast

November 6, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mark Pody

Everyone is invited to attend the Chamber Prayer Breakfast to be held on Tuesday, November 26th at 7 AM at the DeKalb County Complex Community Theatre, 718 South Congress Drive, Smithville. State Representative Mark Pody will be the keynote speaker.

Representative Pody and his wife of 38 years, Barbara, are blessed with two daughters and eight grandchildren all of whom still live in the area. He and his family are very active in their local church. When Mark and Barbara are not cheering on their grandchildren at basketball games, you’ll find them enjoying square dancing in the community. Mark, an owner of a small business which specializes in financial planning and insurance solutions, has multiple business locations throughout Tennessee.

Special music will be performed by Dessa Ray and by keyboardist Tomomi McDowell. State Representative Terrie Lynn Weaver will perform the National Anthem while local Boy Scout Troop #347 presents the flags. Prayers for our community, our leaders, and our children will make this a meaningful and memorable experience.

A delicious breakfast will be catered by Jason Evans, head chef at The Inn at Evins Mill. Leadership Director Jen Sherwood and the Leadership DeKalb Class of 2014 will serve the beverages. Doors open at 6:30 AM.

Tickets are $12 per person and can be purchased at the Chamber office, from the Chamber Board of Directors, or by calling the Chamber office. We’ll be glad to hold your tickets at the door.

Chamber Executive Director, Suzanne Williams says, “I would like to invite everyone to join us at this special event in giving thanks to God for the abundant blessings He has given us in our county. The Prayer Breakfast is a wonderful way to begin the holiday season.” For tickets or additional information, call the Chamber at 597-4163.

Mayor and Aldermen Schedule Workshop on New DUD Water Rate

November 5, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mayor and Aldermen

DeKalb Utility District's ten year water contract with the City of Smithville is set to expire within two months and no new agreement has yet been reached.

The parties have apparently not even been in any serious discussions on a new contract for several months.

Plans for a new DUD water treatment plant are still in the making but have apparently been put on hold because of a legal challenge in Davidson County Chancery Court by the City of Smithville and DUD ratepayers. But even if the legal hurdles are cleared and the DUD proceeds with its plan to build a water plant, it will apparently need a new water contract with the City of Smithville until the facility is completed.

The City of Smithville currently sells water to the DeKalb Utility District for $2.05 per thousand gallons. Under terms of the contract, the rate has increased by five cents per thousand in each of the last ten years beginning in January of each year. The two parties entered into the contract in 2004 and it expires December 31, 2013.

During Monday night's city council meeting, Alderman Tim Stribling called for a workshop to discuss new rates for the DUD. The workshop will be Monday, November 11 at 5:00 p.m. at city hall. DUD board members and officials are invited to attend. "Mr. Mayor, the DUD contract as we all know expires December 31. I would like for this board to maybe set up a workshop where we can discuss some things concerning the contract. We all know there is going to be a new rate so I would like to set up a board workshop," said Stribling.

"We'll just have some numbers together and look at some facts and figures. Of course we can't come to a conclusion or vote on it (because it's a workshop) but we can at least get the ball rolling," said City Recorder Hunter Hendrixson.

"Would you like me to send an invitation to DUD to be present," asked Hendrixson?. "Or course, it's an open meeting. If they want to be here they can be here," he added.

The aldermen agreed that since the workshop is open to all, DUD officials are welcome to attend and no formal invitation was necessary.

A recent study by Warren and Associates, paid for by the city, revealed that the actual cost for Smithville to produce water is $2.67 per thousand gallons. In April city officials discussed offering DUD a new ten year deal which would include selling them water at $2.20 per thousand gallons for the first five years of the contract and raising it to $2.40 per thousand gallons for the last five years. No official vote was taken but city officials sent the offer in writing to DUD officials a couple of days prior to the Tennessee Utility Management Review Board hearing which was held in Smithville to review DUD's water rates. DUD officials later responded agreeing to accept the offer but without the minimum volume purchase requirement the city wanted as part of the proposal.

City Attorney Updates Board on Appeal in DUD Case

November 5, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Vester Parsley, Jr. (older photo)
Darden Copeland (older photo)

The City of Smithville's legal fight to keep the DeKalb Utility District from building its own water treatment plant remains pending in Davidson County Chancery Court.

City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. informed the mayor and aldermen Monday night that the transcript from April's Tennessee Utility Management Review Board (UMRB) hearing has been filed and that a brief for the city is forthcoming. "I talked to Jason Holleman today. His firm as you know is representing the city with the appeal. The transcript of the hearing that was held here in April has been filed with the Chancery Court in Nashville. It was filed on October 28. Jason and Bill Purcell have until November 27 to file our brief for the city. Thereafter, DUD will have up to 30 days to file their brief which will basically put it at December 27. Of course, they can file that brief early. If they do then Jason and Bill will have an additional fourteen days to reply to that. It looks like the earliest that we probably will have any real hearing before the Chancellor in Nashville will be somewhere in January. Probably toward the middle (January) but those dates are not certain because the time for filing briefs has just gotten started. That's where we're at right now," said Parsley.

In July, the aldermen voted 4-0 to hire Nashville attorneys Bill Purcell and Jason Holleman to file an appeal of the UMRB's dismissal of a petition brought by a group of DUD ratepayers and the city who were hoping to halt DUD plans to build the water plant.

Following a hearing held April 4th in Smithville with an administrative law judge presiding, UMRB members voted to dismiss the petition saying they (petitioners) had failed to meet their burden of proof that DUD rates or services provided were unreasonable. The UMRB entered its final order on June 5.

Calling the UMRB's ruling "arbitrary and capricious", attorneys for DUD ratepayers and the City of Smithville filed an appeal in August asking the Davidson County Chancery Court for a judicial review of the case.

The attorneys for the city and DUD ratepayers allege that "the UMRB acted in violation of statutory provisions and followed an unlawful procedure by failing to apply the appropriate scope of review in its deliberations and otherwise acted illegally, arbitrarily, and capriciously in the case. Further, the UMRB’s decision was unsupported by substantial and material evidence in light of the entire record."

The court is being asked to reverse the decision of the UMRB and decree that its action was illegal, arbitrary, and/or capricious and that any such further general relief be granted as the equities of this case may require and as the Court deems necessary and appropriate."

During Monday night's city council meeting, Darden Copeland of Calvert Street Group said it appears that because of the city's appeal, the DUD has not yet moved forward with it plans to build the water plant. He added that public opposition to the proposed facility remains strong. "We still continue to monitor whether or not the bonding authority has put the bonds out for bid. As of right now, everything is completely on hold pending the outcome of the (court) hearing. We continue to monitor DUD meetings. We are also in touch with some of our key members of the DUD committee that were anti the bonds. We still continue to collect petition signatures here and there that still trickle in both on line and through paper. We still have a great database of folks who are as still fired up today as they were a year ago despite the delays," said Copeland. Calvert Street Group is a Nashville public relations company, hired by the City of Smithville to lead opposition efforts to the proposed DUD water treatment plant.

Parsley said it's not yet known when there will be a ruling on the city's appeal. "There is no date set for the hearing. The Chancellor could give a ruling from the bench. Most likely the Chancellor will study it and give us a written opinion after the hearing. It most likely will not be, although it can be on the day they have a hearing. The Chancellor has that discretion in deciding whether she will rule from the bench or whether she will give a written opinion later. It's impossible to tell right now," said Parsley.

Dr. Peterson Named Doctor of the Week

November 5, 2013
by: 
Shan Burklow
Dr. Peterson and staff
Patient, Gracie Lynn Cowan

Dr. Jeffrey Peterson of DeKalb Community Hospital Specialty Clinic was named Doctor of the Week by DeKalb Community Hospital. Dr. Peterson specializes in orthopedic surgery and lights up when talking about his chosen field. "I love taking care of patients," Dr. Peterson beams, "They are like family to me. I have a great staff and I really love what I do." When asked why he chose orthopedics over other specialty fields, Dr. Peterson smiles, "I got into orthopedic surgery because I saw an opportunity to give patients back the life they had prior to their injury or health issues. That part of my job just makes my day."

Orthopedics is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. Dr. Peterson uses both surgical and non-surgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, sports injuries, degenerative disease, infections, tumors and congenital disorders. Having been in practice for over eight years, Dr. Peterson has worked with many different age ranges and types of patients including one of his younger patients, Gracie Lynn Cowan. "Dr. Peterson is very nice and I really like him," Cowan grins, "I like coming here. The nurses are nice, too!"

Cowan's Grandma, Nancy Lance agrees, "We drove all the way from McMinnville to come here today. Dr. Peterson is great with kids and adults alike. I have brought two of my other grandkids to see Dr. P and they all just love him. He is excellent."

Dr. Peterson's staff was pleased with Dr. Peterson's recent recognition. "Everyone just loves Dr. Peterson. He is great to work with and his patients just adore him," said staff Michelle Cathcart, "DeKalb County is very lucky to have him here."

Dr. Peterson is located in the Specialty Clinic Building in front of DeKalb Community Hospital. For more information on Dr. Peterson or other specialty services, go to: www.dekalbcommunityhospital.com

####

Pictured: (from left to right) Dr. Peterson and staff: Whitney Holt, Kim Driver, Dr. Jeffrey Peterson, and Michelle Cathcart. Dr. Peterson was named 'Doctor of the Week' by DeKalb Community Hospital.

Pictured: Patient, Gracie Lynn Cowan, smiles for the camera while waiting to see Dr. Peterson.

THP Names New Nashville District Captain

November 4, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brian Lawson

Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott today named Brian Lawson the new captain of the 12-county Nashville District. Lawson replaces James Hutcherson, who was recently appointed to major over the THP’s Field Operations West Bureau.

Lawson had previously served as troop lieutenant in Warren County and Putnam County prior to this appointment. During his tenure in the Cookeville District, he served as coordinator of the field training officer program and leader of strike team 6. Under Lawson’s leadership, Putnam County also saw a consistent reduction in fatal crashes.

“Brian has proven himself as an up-and-coming leader within the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He has delivered results on the road, and has held personnel accountable as a troop supervisor. I am confident in his abilities to continue producing high marks in the Nashville District and help make our roadways safer,” Trott said.

Lawson’s initial assignment was as a road trooper in White County in 1996. In 1999, he earned the highest number of felony and DUI arrests in the Cookeville District. Lawson was later promoted to sergeant in 2002, where he served in a pair of roles including training instructor and midnight supervisor. He earned the rank of lieutenant in 2006 – a position he held until his promotion to Captain.

Lawson, 40, also brings extensive specialized skills to his role as captain. He identifies talent within the agency as a recruitment and promotional board member, and he holds certifications in DUI, driving track, and defensive tactics instruction. He is also trained in executive dignitary protection and advanced technical accident investigation.

Lawson, originally from Sullivan County, graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command as class president in 2003.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure that our state is a safe, secure place in which to live, work and travel; enforce the law with integrity; and provide customer-focused services professionally and efficiently.

Josh Issac Hoping to Win Special VIP Audition for NBC's "The Voice" (VOTE HERE)

November 2, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Josh Issac
Josh

The search is on for the next superstar for the hit NBC show "The Voice" and local singing sensation Josh Issac is in the running for a special VIP audition.

Issac is among a number of singers who recently recorded a performance of the National Anthem in an audition in Nashville at the Music City Center. Now through November 17, viewers can go on-line and vote for their favorite audition. One winner will have a VIP audition for a future season of "The Voice"

(Click the link below to register and cast your vote. Josh Issac is contestant #13)

Issac said if he wins VIP status, it will guarantee him an audition for the show. "Basically, it's just a chance to win a ticket to skip the initial rounds of having to wait in long lines. This gives you a chance to sit down and actually talk to a producer and tell them, not only your ability of singing but also your story of how you got there," said Issac in an interview Friday with WJLE.

"What a lot of people don't know, on the show it looks like you are just automatically there but you go through about four or five rounds before you get to the national show. This (VIP Status) would let me skip two rounds so I would be about three rounds away," said Issac.

This is by no means Issac's first try for stardom on the national stage. "Six years ago I did participate in American Idol. I made it pretty far. I was on two different episodes which showed me on there. I decided after that time in my life to hang that up. But in the last couple of months different people have contacted me and I am able now to do some things I wasn't able to do then," he said

In order to secure a VIP audition, Issac needs votes. "Everybody has been asking, can we only vote once? No. You can actually vote once a day. So you get on the link. You have to register to vote. You will then go to your email. Confirm it and then you can vote every day. It's not that hard. Once you get through the initial process you just get on there and vote. People need to know that when you vote, each vote counts. Right now I'm in second place," said Issac.

"One question everyone likes to ask is which coach I would pick if selected on the show. I always tell them that while everyone loves Blake (Shelton) because he's from around here (Tennessee), I probably wouldn't pick him just because he likes country (music) and I am more R&B. I would probably pick Adam Levine," he said.

"The Voice", NBC's blockbuster vocal competition show, features some of the strongest vocalists from across the country . Celebrity musician coaches include Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Ceelo Green along with Carson Daly as host. The show’s innovative format features four stages of competition: the first begins with the blind audition, then the battle round, the brand new knockouts and finally, the live performance shows.

During the blind auditions, the decisions from the musician coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks. The coaches hear the artists perform, but they don't get to see them -- thanks to rotating chairs. If a coach is impressed by the artist’s voice, he/she pushes a button to select the artist for his/her team. At this point, the coach’s chair will swivel so that he/she can face the artist he/she has selected. If more than one coach pushes their button, the power then shifts to the artist to choose which coach they want to work with. If no coach pushes their button, the artist is eliminated from the competition.

Once the teams are set, the battle is on. Coaches will dedicate themselves to developing their team of artists, giving them advice, and sharing the secrets of their success along with the help from their celebrity advisers. During the battle rounds the coaches will pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience.

After the vocal battle, the coach must choose which of his/her singers will advance to the next round of competition, while the losing artist is available to be stolen by another coach. Each coach has two steals during the battle rounds.

At the end of the battles, only the strongest members of each coach's roster remain and proceed to the new knockout rounds. The artists will be paired again with a member of their team, but this time they find out only minutes before performing who they are being compared against. The artists each select their own song to perform individually, while their direct competitor watches and waits. They are vying for their coach’s confidence and decision to take them to the live shows. Their coach will choose the winner and the artist not selected will be sent home.

In the final live performance phase of the competition, the top artists from each team will compete each week against each other during a live broadcast. The television audience will vote to save their favorite artists and the two artists with the lowest number of votes will be sent home each week. In the end, one will be named "The Voice" and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract.

Tigers Heading East for First Round of State Play-Offs

November 2, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Coach Steve Trapp

The DeKalb County Tigers will travel to Knoxville Catholic for the first round of the 2013 Division I BlueCross Bowl Class 4A Football Playoffs next Friday night, November 8. WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the game.

The Tigers (6-4) are seeded fifth and the Fighting Irish (7-3) are a four seed. The winner will face either Signal Mountain (7-3) or Marshall County (4-6) on November 15. Signal Mountain is a number one seed. Marshall County is an eight seed.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO SEE THE BRACKET)

http://tssaa.org/2013Champions/StateFootball/4ABracket.htm

This is the third consecutive year the Tigers have earned a berth in the state play-offs. It's their fifth appearance in the last six years. "It is a new season. We have an opportunity to prolong our season. We draw Knox Catholic, a very good football team. It'll be a big challenge for us. A big road trip. We're glad to have the opportunity to have this program in the post season again," said Tiger Coach Steve Trapp

Knoxville Catholic's wins this year have been:
over Notre Dame 22-13
over Coalfield 47-7
over CAK 17-14
over Tyner Academy 24-6
over Hardin Valley 15-14
over Kingston 51-7
over Scott 35-2

Knoxville Catholic's losses this year have been:
to Anderson County 61-40
to Knoxville Webb 34-7
to Alcoa 49-7

DeKalb County's wins have been:
over Warren County 20-7
over Stone Memorial 21-13
over Livingston Academy 35-28
over Cannon County 39-0
over York Institute 34-0
over Macon County 35-16

DeKalb County's losses have been:
to White County 46-21
to Trousdale County 23-21
to Upperman 61-14
to Smith County 35-31

Meanwhile in Class 3A, Alcoa (9-1) will meet York Institute (4-6) in the first round of the play-offs. Alcoa is a one seed. The Dragons are an eight seed.

Upperman (10-0) will face Grundy County (4-6) in the first round. The Bees are a one seed. Grundy County is an eight seed. The winner will meet either Smith County or Tyner.

The Owls (6-4) will take on Tyner (4-6) in the first round. Smith County is a four seed. Tyner is a five seed.

A Look at the Tennessee Legislature

November 2, 2013
by: 
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver
Terri Lynn Weaver

Fall has definitely taken center stage since last I sent The Loop. The wind chimes outside my window are whippin’ in the wind, while the screen door is flappin’ every now and then reminding me there is a storm brewing on this last day of October.

With Governor Haslam saying it is unlikely the state will present an agreement with the federal government on Medicaid expansion before the new year, a window to speak with the Governor's office concerning a more fiscally-responsible alternative to state exchanges and medicaid expansion opened up for me last month. I want to thank Governor Haslam for taking time to hear from my friend, C.L. Gray, an M.D. who presented a common sense approach that would give states the ability and incentive to create lean, efficient Medicaid programs. With our national debt now approaching $17 trillion and states operating under the current system of unlimited federal matching dollars, out of control spending continues to be propelled. The more states spend on Medicaid, the more money they receive from Washington—the trajectory is unsustainable for the feds and the states, leaving us cash-strapped, overextended, and most certainly headed for a huge train wreck not far down the tracks. Folks, the Federal Government has proven it is NOT capable to run healthcare. Ask the millions who tried to enroll through the troubled federal website. All indications continue to reveal to me this mandate called Obamacare is nothing but WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!! There are ways for reform in healthcare and healthcost. To find out more info, read “The Battle for America's Soul” and watch “The Determinators” via YouTube, and decide for yourself. Are you on the side of empowering and protecting the individual OR surrendering power to the state?

The Tennessee Judicial Conference was held in October. When asked by Chief Justice Wade to “speak of your passion, Representative Weaver,” out of my heart rolled the need for Tennessee to establish more drug courts for mothers who can begin the process of healing, not only for themselves, but also for the babies they birthed who are addicted to prescription drugs. Being number one in the nation for the abuse of prescription drugs is not something to be proud of. This epidemic, stemming from the passage of the Intractable Act of 2001, plus the current lack of strong regulations on pain clinics, has resulted in the alarming number of babies being born forever affected by drugs. It will take all three branches of government to work as a team to heal our state of this sickness. Meeting the judges who already have successful drug courts in our state fueled my passion even more to stay the course. Also encouraging is to know that the Departments of Health, Mental Health, and Corrections are talking the same language and realizing there has to be accountability for this abuse which is no different than being accountable for driving drunk behind the wheel when another's life is broken or taken. Senate hearings concerning this issue showed me members are more educated than last year and see the need to pass legislation that jerks the knee out from under the illegal and legal drug pushers of Tennessee.

During the Tennessee Public Transportation Association’s Annual Conference at Music City Center, I participated in a Legislative Roundtable with three fellow legislators to discuss our state’s highway and transit funding. We are second, with Texas being first, in the nation for Transportation and Infrastructure. We live within our means and top the list in the nation with no transportation debt. Though I see at some point where public transit is going to be a top concern--currently?—well, I like my car and the freedom having my vehicle gives me. Apparently I am not alone, for the mindset of many like the ability to go and come as they please. There is much education needed in order to show the masses Nashville needs a public rapid transit system. Today we face some serious challenges, one of which is how we are going to fund maintaining our current roads and bridges when the gas tax is not sufficient and the federal matching money ceases after December 2014. Having attended Regions 2 and 3 TDOT Summits—25-Year Long Range Plan, addressing the changing demographics that will impact transportation demands across the state, I have invited a speaker from TDOT to my Coffee & Conversations in Smith County on November 15. Please join us and learn how we plan to keep Tennessee moving.

Trousdale County has had a busy and exciting October. First, the Governor visited the Elementary School, which was recognized as a Rewards School. Then a $500,000 grant for water system rehabilitation and economic development was presented to Hartsville-Trousdale County. And most recently, the schools were a district finalist and winner of the SCORE Award, demonstrating great success in student achievement, receiving $25,000 for all that hard work!!!! Great job, students and teachers. Also, it was announced that Trousdale County would be the site for a 2500-bed correctional facility that will bring many jobs and more economical boost to the smallest county in the state. Yes indeed, big things come in small packages and we are grateful for all the good things that have come by Trousdale County here of late.

In closing, what a great week Mike and I have had, taking former NFL player Herman Weaver to the schools in district 40. The response from students and teachers truly was awesome. Placing more positive influences before our children and training them in the way they should go will make a difference in the lives of our leaders of tomorrow.

Now as we begin November ,’tis the season to be thankful. In spite of all the sadness, darkness, and unsettling circumstances around us, I close with words from The Message, Colossians chapter three:

“And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ--The Message--have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives--words, actions, whatever--be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”

Be ye thankful, and have a blessed Thanksgiving,

Terri Lynn

P.S.--Do not forget to join me every Friday at 7:30 for Coffee and Conversations:
1st Friday DeKalb County—Community Complex
2nd Friday Trousdale County—L & T Early Bird Café, Hartsville
3rd Friday Smith County—Smith County Chamber
4th Friday Sumner County—Mable’s Dining Room, Gallatin

Former NFL Punter Herman "Thunderfoot" Weaver Visits DCHS

November 1, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Herman Weaver with DMS Assistant Principal Amanda Dakas

Former NFL punter Herman "Thunderfoot" Weaver hopes to help students make positive choices in their lives and he shared that message with students at DeKalb County High School Wednesday.

Weaver was introduced to the assembly by State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver.

Having spent the last 20 plus years speaking all over the country, Weaver is committed to helping youth make significant change in their own lives. He has had the opportunity to speak in more than 3000 schools to over 1 million students. As Weaver shares his personal faith in God, he is able to challenge students to make positive decisions in their own lives. Decisions between such things as:

•Drug & Alcohol abuse vs. freedom from chemical control.
•Dropping out of school vs. academic leadership.
•Giving into peer pressure vs. establishing positive personal values.
•Aimlessness and suicide vs. purposeful living .

Weaver is a former punter with a 11 year career in the National Football League from 1970 to 1980. He spent 11 years punting in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks. During his career, Weaver punted 693 times for 27,897 total yards. In 1975, Weaver was named the NFC Punter of the Year and in 1988 the Sporting News called him “One of the Top 20 Punters of all Time”. Weaver shares the all-time NFL record for the most punts had blocked in a career at 14.

Weaver played college football for the University of Tennessee Volunteers. While at Tennessee, he had a punt of 71 yards. He also had the best hang-time ever of 5.7 seconds.

He got his nickname from the late Sportscaster Howard Cosell. As the Detroit Lions were preparing for their game on Monday Night Football, Weaver stepped back to punt as the special teams took the field. Cosell was watching practice and at the highest point of the ball flight, a blast of thunder let out of the sky. The next night on Monday Night Football, Cosell referred to Weaver as "Thunderfoot".

Time to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries

November 1, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak reminds Tennesseans to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors this weekend when they set back their clocks Saturday night for central standard time.

“Alarms, even those that are hard-wired, should have their batteries replaced regularly and should be tested monthly to ensure they are providing the proper protection,” McPeak says. “Use the extra hour we gain this weekend to make sure your home and family are fire-safe.”

Many fatal fires occur at night while the victims are sleeping. The smoke and toxic gases generated by a fire can cause people to sleep more deeply narrowing the chances of surviving a fire. A working smoke alarm can double the chances of survival by increasing the amount of time a person has to escape a fire in their home.

It is critical to install smoke alarms and replace batteries regularly. Twice a year is recommended. This reduces the chance of alarms chirping to indicate low batteries. All too often, a battery is removed and not replaced, putting a home’s occupants at risk. There’s no way to predict when a fire will occur, so even one night without an operational smoke alarm can be dangerous.

Here are some other helpful hints on the importance of smoke alarms:

•Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home, including the basement. For best protection, smoke alarms should be installed inside and outside sleeping rooms. Make sure everyone can hear the alarm and knows what it sounds like.

•For the best protection, equip your home with a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual-sensor alarms.

•Smoke alarms with nonreplaceable (long-life) batteries are available and are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps on these units, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.

•Test alarms once a month using the test button. Replace the entire alarm if it's more than 10 years old or doesn't work properly when tested.

•Devise a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and a common meeting place. Share and practice the plan with all who live in the home, including children.

•When a smoke alarm sounds, get out of the home immediately and go to your pre-planned meeting place to call 911.

For more information on making your home fire-safe, download and print the State Fire Marshal’s home fire safety checklist (http://tn.gov/fire/fsk/documents/checklist.pdf).

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is a division of The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for daily fire prevention tips!

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