ROCHESTER — Chief Mark Klose reports that the Rochester Fire Department responded to multiple fires in the last week that were discovered quickly because of working smoke alarms.
Fires at homes on Hunter Court and Joshua Street both began inside the homes’ dryers, which caused smoke damage and minor structural damage. A third fire at a home on River Street ignited in a light fixture.
“All three of these fires were caught early and extinguished because these homes had working smoke alarms,” Chief Klose said. “Each one should serve as a reminder of the importance of testing your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, as they can make all the difference in preventing a tragedy caused by fire.”
Chief Klose also wishes to remind residents to regularly clean lint from their dryers and vent hose, which can reduce the risk of dryer fires like the ones Rochester Firefighters responded to last week.
He also encourages residents to ensure they have working carbon monoxide detectors following the deaths of two people in Lyman last week from CO poisoning.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 46 percent of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries and roughly three out of every five fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.
In order to keep your home safe and prevent fires, the Rochester Fire Department recommends that residents follow safety tips outlined by NFPA:
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month using the test button. Replace alarms immediately if they don’t respond properly when tested.
- Replace batteries in smoke and CO alarms when you change your clocks.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they reach 10 years old. Replace CO detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay in that spot until emergency personnel arrive.