Safe exit illustrates value of working detectors

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A McCook family didn't set out to be an illustration for National Fire Prevention Week, but that's what happened.

The Stanley Cox family of 1201 West 12th will have to find other housing for a while as a result of a smoky fire late Monday evening, but thanks to working smoke detectors, they are alive. And, thanks to quick response for the McCook Fire and Rescue Squad, even their two dogs and a cat were brought out in time.

An electrical device in the kitchen shorted out, and there was smoke damage throughout the house, but the alarms did their jobs and another family was saved.

We are usually urged to change the batteries in our smoke detectors when the time changes back to standard time -- Sunday, Nov. 6 this year -- but go ahead and change for at least test them this week, during National Fire Prevention Week.

The National Fire Prevention Association has a list of steps you can take to make sure your home is safe:

* Does your home have interconnected smoke alarms? (When one sounds, they all sound?)

* Do you test the batteries at least once a month?

* Does your family have a home fire-escape plan that includes two ways out of each room?

* Does your entire family practice your plan twice a year?

For kids:

* Does your home have smoke alarms on every level, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area?

* Do you know the sound that a smoke alarm makes?

* Do you know what to do if your smoke alarm sounds?

* Are all the exits in your home clear of furniture, toys and clutter?

* Can you see the number on your house from the street?

* Has your family picked a safe place to meet outside if a fire occurs?

A poster of the checklist, as well as a wealth of other information, is available at the NFPA website,

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