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It’s Time to Change the Batteries in Your Smoke Detector

As daylight savings time approaches on March 9, the Bainbridge Public Safety Department wants to remind residents to make another change that could save their lives – changing the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.


To save lives and prevent needless injuries, the Bainbridge Public Safety Department has joined the “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign. The program urges all Americans to adopt a simple, lifesaving habit: changing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries when changing clocks to daylight savings time.


The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping. Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. A working smoke alarm can give your family the extra seconds you need to get out of a home fire safely.


In addition, the Bainbridge Public Safety Department recommends residents use the “extra” hour they save from the time change to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors by pushing the test button, planning “two ways out” and practicing escape routes with the entire family.


Families should also prepare a fire safety kit that includes working flashlights and fresh batteries.

Bainbridge Public Safety Arrests Juvenile Arsonist

On Sunday, January 19, Bainbridge Public Safety arrested a 14 year old Bainbridge resident in connection with a string of arsons.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, BPS responded to a call of a fire behind the old K-Mart building.  When they arrived, officers found numerous tires on fire.  They quickly put the fire out.  During the fire, a young black male approached officers telling them that he saw two boys dressed in black set the fire.

As officers were leaving the scene, they noticed another fire next on Broughton Street next to the radio tower.  There, they found card board boxes and a city rapid rail trash can on fire.

Officer Terry Pait got in his car to begin searching for the two males that the witness from earlier had identified, when he saw a fully involved fire in a dumpster next to Harvey’s. 

During the dumpster fire, while patrolling the area, Officer John Walker spotted a young black male dressed in all black behind Badcock furniture.  Walker stopped his car to talk to the boy, and noticed that it was the same one that had approached the officers earlier.  He told the young man that he wanted to talk to him, and the young man began running.  After a short foot chase, Walker arrested the young man.

The juvenile has been charged with one count of first degree arson and one count of third degree arson, both felonies. He was also charged with two counts of engaging in certain activities relating to the use of fires and ignited objects, a misdemeanor.  He is currently being held in an RYDC until his court date on February 7.

Bainbridge Man Dies In House Fire

A Bainbridge man passed away in a house fire this morning. Willie Williams of 510 West Green St. died in his home after a fire in his bedroom. Williams shares the home with his granddaughter Keisha Griffin, great grandson David Jackson and Griffin’s boyfriend Christopher Stovall.

At 4:28 a.m. Bainbridge Public Safety was called to the scene. When they arrived, they discovered smoke coming from the house and fire in the back bedroom of the home. BPS was able to contain the fire to the back bedroom.

Officers learned that Jackson had been asleep in the living room when he woke up to the smell of smoke. He tried to get to Williams’ room, but the smoke was too bad, so he exited the house and knocked on the bedroom’s window and exterior walls.

Griffin and Stovall were able to exit the home and saw fire coming from the back bedroom where Williams was sleeping. At that time, they called 911.

No foul play is suspected. Because a death occurred the State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in the assist in the investigation.

Bainbridge Public Safety Urges Heating Safety

It’s a cold winter night. You decide to use a space heater, or perhaps light a fire in the fireplace, to save on the heating bill. Comfortable from its warmth as bedtime approaches you think, “What harm could it cause to leave it on overnight?”

Think again. While these heating devices may help you feel cozy and warm, they can become extremely dangerous if not used properly. Home heating equipment was involved in an estimated 62,000 home fires in 2005, according to the non-profit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The cost of these fires is more than just property damage. The cost includes roughly 700 lives and roughly 1,500 injuries.

Home heating fires are largely preventable when you know the rules. Bainbridge Public Safety’s goal is to reduce the number of home-heating fires in our community. But we need your help. We are urging Bainbridge families to use extra caution this winter when heating your home.

The majority of heating fire deaths are caused by space heaters! Most heating fires are caused by creosote build-up in the chimney.

To help keep our community safe and warm this season, Bainbridge Public Safety recommends that you follow these guidelines:

  • Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
  • Inspect for cracked, frayed or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
  • Have your chimney inspected each year and cleaned if necessary.
  • Use a sturdy fireplace screen.
  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container.
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home — when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home.
  • For fuel assistance, contact the National Fuel Funds Network at 1-202-824-0660.

With simple precautions, help us meet our goal of decreasing home-heating fires this winter.    For more information, contact Major Doyle Welch at 229-248-2038.

It’s Time To Check Smoke Detectors

Daylight savings time ends this weekend, which means it’s time to move your clocks back, but have you checked the batteries in your smoke detector? “Falling Back” is also a time to check your batteries, according to Doyle Welch, Major of Fire Prevention & Code Enforcement with Bainbridge Public Safety.
“It is important to not only change the batteries in your smoke detector twice a year, but to preform monthly checks to insure your smoke detector is functioning properly,” said Welch. Even if your smoke detectors are hardwired, replace the batteries in case of a power outage. It is also time to maintenance your smoke detector by removing dust and dirt that could cause your smoke detector to malfunction. By doing so, you could save a life.
Statistics show working smoke detectors reduce the chance of dying in a fire by 50%. If you do not have smoke detectors, or if your smoke detector is over 8-10 years old, now is the time to install or replace smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. When installing smoke detectors one should mount the smoke detector high on the wall but at least 6 inches down from the ceiling, if installing on the ceiling, the detectors should be installed at least 6 inches away from the wall.
For questions about smoke detectors or how to check yours, please contact Bainbridge Public Safety at 248-2038.

Bainbridge Public Safety Warns of New Scam

Bainbridge Public Safety wants to warn residents about a new scam happening here in Bainbridge and is encouraging residents to check their receipts when using debit cards at local stores.
Recently an employee at the local Winn Dixie was caught getting cash back on customers’ debit transactions. When customers came through the checkout line and used their debit card, the employee would turn around the key pad, telling them it was working incorrectly and request cash back on their cards. When the customer left, the employee would then pocket the cash. The employee was also adding gift cards onto customers’ transactions without their knowledge.
“Checking your receipt and being observant as you check out at stores can not only keep you from being a victim,” said BPS Criminal Investigation Major Robert Humphrey, “but it can stop others from being a victim as well.”
If have any information about this recent scam or think you may have been a victim, please contact Major Robert Humphrey at 229-515-0973.

Coming Soon…

Next week is set to be a busy one in the city of Bainbridge! We’ve got Pumpkins in the Park, Oak City Cemetery Living History Tour, Touch-A-Truck and First Saturday Market. Don’t miss the fun!

2013 - Pumpkins in the Park Flyer

Living History Tour Flyer

November 2013 Touch-A-Truck


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