ATLANTA – Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King is urging all Georgians to change their smoke alarm batteries this weekend when they change their clocks to mark the end of Daylight Savings Time.
“Smoke alarms protect your lives and belongings by warning when there might be a fire in your home or place of work,” said Commissioner King. “However, a smoke alarm’s life-saving impact goes away when it runs out of batteries. Fire safety experts advise that smoke alarm batteries should be changed twice per year, and the end of Daylight Savings Times is the perfect opportunity to replace the batteries in our smoke alarms.”
Smoke alarm batteries can be the difference between life and death for too many Georgians. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the death rate in homes without functioning smoke alarms was more than twice as high compared to homes with working smoke alarms between 2014 and 2018.
Commissioner King also encourages Georgians to test and clean dust from their smoke alarms monthly and to practice an escape plan in case their home is ever impacted by a fire. More information on fire safety can be obtained from our office, the U.S. Fire Administration, the American Red Cross, or your local fire station.
Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday, November 6th, at 2:00 a.m., when all clocks are set backward one hour.
The mission of the Office Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire is to protect Georgia families by providing access to vital insurance products and safe buildings through fair regulation that creates economic opportunities for all Georgians.
From Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King:
While the COVID-19 outbreak started as an international story that felt distant to many of us,
this global pandemic has clearly become an issue impacting Georgians in every corner of our
On Wednesday evening, we eclipsed 1,387 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia – and 47
deaths. Schools are closed, many businesses have shuttered, and millions of our citizens are
practicing social distancing as we work to “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of COVID-19.
This dangerous threat requires a strong, coordinated response from both the public and private
sectors. We are in this fight together and need all hands-on deck.
I was honored to be asked by Governor Kemp to serve on Georgia’s Coronavirus Task Force and
lead the Emergency Preparedness Committee, where I am working to ensure we have the
proper equipment and processes in place to respond appropriately to this ongoing health crisis.
Our Committee is hard at work looking at the data and putting together recommendations to
pass on to Governor Kemp for implementation.
In short order, we have partnered with the Governor to remove regulations on trucking
companies to keep much-needed food and supplies on our grocery store shelves. We are also
looking at other regulations to relax on our hospitals and pharmacies that will make it easier to
treat individuals with COVID-19-related symptoms and prioritize those who need additional
One key tool is telemedicine, where doctors can examine and diagnose patients either over the
phone or via video chat. This allows those who are ill to avoid visiting crowded ERs or doctor’s
offices – needlessly exposing Georgians to this highly contagious virus. We are diligently
working with the Governor and the insurance industry to ensure more Georgians have access to
telemedicine, expand insurance coverage for the service, and help patients find additional
As Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, I am also looking for ways to support both Georgia
families and small businesses during this outbreak. We recently directed health insurers not to
cancel health policies for non-payment until further notice. We also asked insurers to waive all
co-pays for COVID-19 testing and called on private labs providing these tests to keep costs at a
minimum. During a global pandemic, no one should be denied treatment for financial reasons –
and people shouldn’t lose their health coverage due to the economic instability fostered by the
Finally, to better help businesses struggling to weather the storm, we’ve committed to
expediting our review process for any insurers interested in writing new Business Interruption
Insurance policies specifically aimed at covering COVID-19 claims. We’ve also made a number of
changes to benefit local insurance agents in your community, including waiving all non-federal
filing deadlines and requirements and waiving late filing fees.
Here’s my commitment: We will do our part to not only help in the fight to stop COVID-19, but
to play a vital role in the recovery efforts as well.
As a Major General in the United States Army National Guard, I am assigned to Contingency
Command Post 1 and Task Force 51 in the US Army North, where we are responsible for
responding to disasters across the country. This week, I will be deployed to join the country-
wide battle against COVID-19. While working to secure the border and prevent spread, I will
remain focused on the needs of Georgians from every corner of our great state. Rest assured, I
will continue to be in constant communication with the Governor, his Task Force, and my office
to ensure that we continue to keep Georgia’s families and communities strong.
This crisis did not happen overnight, nor will it be solved quickly. But I am confident that
Georgians are up for the challenge. By following the guidelines provided by President Trump,
Governor Kemp, and the Centers for Disease Control, we can do our part to stop the spread of
coronavirus. With your help, we can end this pandemic and ensure a brighter, safer, and