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Smoke Detectors Save Lives in Home Fire - Again

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October 18, 2011
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Smoke Detectors Save Lives in Home Fire - Again

Hard on the heels of Fire Prevention Week, I just read one more great example of how smoke detectors save lives. Public safety professionals (like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) do their best to communicate the dangers of home fires, and the importance of working smoke detectors, but there are still plenty of homes with no detectors, or detectors that don’t work, or have dead batteries, etc. It’s so easy to take this simple precaution – and as this story from Corydon, Kentucky illustrates, your life may depend on it.

It was 12:45 a.m. Wednesday when Stephanie Somers woke to the sound of her smoke detector. Thinking it was her alarm, Stephanie, who was in bed with her 10-year-old daughter in her mobile home in Corydon, opened the bedroom door to see her living room engulfed in flames. "One second I could see and the next I couldn't," Stephanie said. "Smoke was everywhere. That's when I went into panic mode.

Smoke Detectors Save the Day – and a Family

"If it wasn't for the smoke detector, I wouldn't have woken up. I didn't smell anything." Without the use of the two working smoke detectors in the home, the family wouldn't have made it out alive, said Smith Mills Fire Chief Mike Coghill. Coghill said the fire started in the middle of the mobile home and spread outward on both sides. What caused the fire to start is still under investigation.

Sad News on the Pets

When Stephanie went to grab her 15-year-old, her daughter was still asleep. "I got my oldest daughter and had turned around thinking my 10-year-old was still behind me, but she had dropped down somewhere to hide," she said. "That was the worst feeling in the world, turning around and not seeing my daughter behind me." The family managed to make it out safely. Stephanie said they lost all of their possessions and home, including two family pets -- a pit bull and a miniature dachshund.

"Everything is gone," said Eric Somers, husband and father, who was at work during the fire. "It is a total loss." But Coghill said they could have lost much more. "If they didn't have working detectors, they wouldn't have made it," the fire chief said. "They probably spent 20 bucks on those and that was the best investment they've ever made. There’s a mother and two girls alive to prove that smoke detectors work."

Why Choose Monitored Fire Protection?

Most reputable alarm companies (FrontPoint included) recommend at least one monitored smoke/heat sensor for every system they sell. The main reason is that your standard smoke detector is really just a noisemaker. Yes, it’s much better than nothing, and it did work in the story above - but don’t you want to know the fire department is being summoned as soon as possible? You may be away – or, much worse, overcome by smoke in your own home. That’s when you definitely want a system that quickly reaches the people who can help. Here’s a link to my previous post on monitored fire protection.

FrontPoint continues to provide the latest in interactive, wireless home security, including fire monitoring for no additional monthly fee. We are members of the NFPA, and fully support their goal of protecting us in our homes and workplaces – especially with this year’s theme: “Protect Your Family from Fire.” Just one more reason why are known as the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.


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