Early Saturday morning (5/20/17), three members of a Lexington, Kentucky family were killed and another seriously injured in a house fire. Preliminiary investigations showed there were no working smoke or fire detectors in the home. Here’s the story from the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The National Fire Protection Association, along with American Red Cross and the Lexington Fire Department, have a simple message: WORKING SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES!
Smoke alarms aren’t expensive, and many fire departments, including the Lexington Fire Department, will install them in homes or apartments for persons who can’t afford them. Newer smoke alarms have 10-year batteries, so once they’re installed, all you have to do is test them once a month and keep them clean.
- Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms save lives and protect against injury and loss due to fire.
- The fire death rate in homes with working smoke alarms is 51% less than the rate for homes without this protection.
- Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
- An estimated 890 lives could be saved each year if all homes had working smoke alarms.
- Sprinklers and smoke alarms together cut your risk of dying in a home fire 82% in relation to having neither.
- Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. If you keep bedroom doors shut, place a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
- Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and batteries replaced yearly, or as soon as you hear a low battery warning which usually sounds like a “chirping” noise.
- Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it.
- Keep smoke alarms clean by vacuuming over and around it regularly. Dust and debris can interfere with its operation.
- Install smoke alarms away from windows, doors, or ducts that can interfere with their operation.
- Never remove the battery from or disable a smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms”, try locating it further from kitchens or bathrooms.
- Plan regular fire drills to practice your escape plan ensuring everyone in your home knows exactly what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Only 26 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
- Smoke alarms wear out. Replace your alarms every 10 years. If you can’t remember when you last replaced them, buy new alarms that are interconnected if possible. Install them using manufacturer’s instructions and hire an electrician for installing alarms that are hard-wired into your home’s electrical system.
Smoke Alarms Can Save Your Life! Call the Lexington Fire Department at (859)231-5662 and get scheduled for a free home assesment and install today!
Information: American Red Cross, National Fire Protection Association