Free Smoke Alarm Inspections and Installation 

Last Updated on March 27, 2023 7:16 am

The North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry, Three Forks Baptist Association, and the Watauga County Fire Marshals Office are offering free smoke alarm inspections and installations. 

Referrals are being taken now and Installations will start in April.

To make a referral go to or call 828-264-4482, Monday-Thursday, 8:30am-2:00pm. 

About three out of five fire deaths happen in homes without working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan providing early warning to reduce your risk of dying in a fire. The National Fire Protection Association recommends you:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas on the ceiling or high on the wall
  • Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen, at least 10 feet from the stove, to reduce false alarms
  • Use special alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers for people who are hard of hearing or deaf
  • Test smoke alarms monthly
  • Replace batteries in your smoke alarm and  carbon monoxide detector annually
  • Replace smoke alarms that are 10 or more years old

*Info from National Safety Council. 

According to Angie Gregg, Central West Regional Director with North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM), the last smoke alarm emphasis made in this area was over ten years ago. So many of the smoke alarms installed in homes with those 65 years of age and older have outdated smoke alarms installed.  Though batteries need to be checked in them regularly, the actual alarm needs to be replaced every ten years. 

Fire Departments love helping their communities stay safe by assisting community members with inspections and installations. NCBAM can provide the departments with smoke alarms for those 65 and older.  

NCBAM’s mission is to provide Help for the Journey to aging adults 65+ in ways that help them maintain their independence and enjoy quality of life. They also serve local churches and senior adult pastors by providing programming for retreats, lunch ‘n’ learns, leadership conferences, and other special events. Team members across the state offer more than 40 basic classes and evidence-based programs through our “Wise Up Enrichment Workshops.”

Though NCBAM helps with the alarms for those 65 and older, the inspections and installs are offered to anyone in the community. If a person rents their home, the landlord is responsible for providing working and up to date smoke alarms. The Fire Marshals office will work with landlords to help them with this and keep all occupants safe. 

Fire Marshal Shane Garland will be working with Watauga County fire chiefs and departments assisting them with this effort. 

Local churches are helping with referrals as well as helping come alongside departments in their community. 

“Every church in our area has two things, a local school, and a local fire department! We encourage all of our churches to establish partnerships with both. It’s important for us to serve those who serve us. Churches will be encouraged to support their local fire department by providing training meals, volunteers, home safety inspections, and financial support, if needed during this effort. This is a great opportunity to show both love for our public servants and our community”- Wesley Smith, Director of Missions, Three Forks Baptist Association.  

Please note that inspections and installations will only be made on a referral basis. Fire Departments nor churches will be canvassing neighborhoods or communities looking for homes to inspect or install smoke alarms. That is why the referral is so important. 

Referrals will be taken through March of 2023. Inspections and installations should begin in April. 
If you have questions, feel free to contact the Three Forks Baptist Association at 828-264-4482 or

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