Fire House Facts & Smoke Alarm Safety
04/11/2012 | Kayla Holiman, Fire Inspector
The Yuma Fire Department responded to 237 emergency calls for service:
- 10 Commercial Assignments
Including: A shed fire at a residence, a fatal apartment fire, a fire in the laundry room of an apartment, and various alarms
- 23 Motor Vehicle Crashes
Including: 2 involving motorcycles, 2 head on collisions, 1 involving a fence, 2 involving bicycles, 1 involving a building, 1 roll over, 2 involving pedestrians, and 1 involving three vehicles
- 189 Other Medical Emergencies (serious to minor)
Including: 6 for difficulty breathing, 17 for chest pain, 35 fall victims, 6 unconscious people, 2 seizure cases, 14 people with psychiatric problems, 42 trauma injuries, 4 diabetic emergencies, 5 strokes, 2 calls for children locked inside of vehicles, and other illnesses and injuries
- 15 Special Duty, Public Assistance, and Residential Assignments
Including: 2 calls for cats stuck in the walls of homes, a call for a snake at a residence, and various alarms
Last week a resident of Yuma died when his apartment caught fire. There were no working smoke detectors found inside of his apartment. Most fatal fires happen late at night and early in the morning, when people are sleeping.
Every year more than 3000 people die in fires in the United States. It is estimated that half of those that died may have lived, if there had been a working smoke alarm in the home. Most homes these days are equipped with smoke alarms, but due to poor maintenance (often batteries are found to be dead or disconnected) many of these alarms fail to work properly when a fire occurs.
Batteries should be replaced at least once a year and alarms should be tested monthly. Combine these tests with doing home fire drills (your kids do them at school and they are just as important at home!) and your children will be more likely to recognize the sound of the alarm and take the proper action in a real emergency.
It is recommended to do your annual battery replacement in connection with some annual event. In many parts of the country that is when they change clocks back to standard time in the fall. There are even 10 year lithium batteries now available to install in smoke alarms. It is also recommended to replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
Smoke alarms save lives, and they are some of the cheapest insurance you can buy, but they will do no good if they are not working properly.
For More Information
If you have questions or need more information, please contact Mike Erfert or Kayla Holiman at 373-4850.