WATERFORD — October is National Fire Prevention Month and the Waterford Fire Department would like to see that every home is equipped with working smoke detectors.
Department personnel will visit homes in the department’s response area and provide smoke detectors and install them for no charge. All it takes is a phone call to 262-514-7019.
The National Fire Protection Association shared statistics about smoke alarms on its website. Between 2009 and 2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than 50 percent of home fires reported to fire departments in the United States. Working smoke alarms were absent in more than one third of homes where fire deaths occurred and in one of five homes where smoke alarms were present, but did not sound. Of those not sounding, almost half of those had missing or disconnected batteries; often times nuisance alarms were cited as the reason for disconnection.
Fire Chief Rick Mueller went on to say that homeowners should test smoke alarms monthly, replacing batteries at least once a year or when the chirp indicates a low battery. It is also important to outfit the home with several smoke alarms, one on every floor and outside and inside each bedroom. Consider options for interconnecting smoke alarms using wireless technology or hard wiring so fires detected in one area of the home can sound an alarm throughout the home.
“When our EMS teams are on a call, our first priority is caring for the victim or victims and ensuring their safety,” Mueller said. “But as paramedics and EMTs care for the patient, other members of the team are checking smoke alarms and replacing batteries or providing new smoke detectors for defective or absent devices.
“We look forward to a day when we never have to learn that a single person died in a home fire because they weren’t protected by the early warning that a smoke alarm provides,” Mueller said.
Waterford Fire Department personnel are happy to provide residents with answers to their questions about smoke alarm placement and proper use. For more information, call the number above.