About 70 people showed up Wednesday at the Tusculum Volunteer Fire Department looking for free smoke alarms.
Tusculum Fire Chief Stephen Harris is pleased that so many people want to enhance fire safety in their homes. The problem, the chief said, is that no smoke alarms are available for direct distribution from the state to private citizens.
There apparently has been a misunderstanding about the way the smoke alarms will be distributed, Harris said.
"The State Fire Marshal's Office brought the alarms to the fire departments for distribution, not for the general public to stop by and get them.
"While we are glad there is such an interest in getting these alarms for their homes, the fire departments has to distribute and install them," Harris said.
Those who came to the Tusculum Volunteer Fire Department left their information with fire officials and were told "someone would be in contact with them," Harris said.
"I think the easiest thing would be for these individuals that would like alarms to contact the fire department in the area in which they live," he said.
The state Fire Marshal's Office announced earlier this week in a news release that the office would "begin distributing smoke alarms to the counties most likely to have residential fire deaths," but did not specify that alarms would be installed by the fire departments.
The distribution will, however, take place through local fire departments.
Harris re-emphasized that citizens should contact their local fire department to determine if they can have a free smoke alarm installed where they live.