Smoke detectors are cheap ways to protect loved ones

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 27, 2015

Thursday we ran a story about a Harrison County woman whose life was saved because a smoke detector woke her in time to escape a house fire.
She is not alone. A quick Google search reveals a number of people whose lives were spared through a $5 gadget. We highly encourage everyone to get one. Detectors should go in every bedroom and in the kitchen area of homes.
However, for those on a budget, we are happy to report today the Picayune Fire Department is installing, for free, smoke detectors to any home without one.
These devices are especially useful for elderly people or for people who are prone to forgetfulness.
Quite a few residents should already have the devices, as Picayune firefighters swept through the city installing them five years ago, and for those who have them, we want to remind everyone to please check the battery and replace the it if necessary. The National Fire Protection Association reports that two-thirds of all fire-related deaths are in homes without smoke detectors, so a small investment can save lives.
That same organization recommends checking detector batteries once a month, even though many modern batteries can last for years.
Finally, a small fire extinguisher can cost as little as $20, and could come in handy. Consumer Reports recommends buying as big of an extinguisher as you can comfortably handle, and keep one on every floor of the home. In addition, make sure the extinguisher is general purpose, so take care to read the label, as not every extinguisher is best for every sort of fire.
Finally, as the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense and to that end, make sure you are smart with fire and electronics. If you have candles, ensure they’re in an area that isn’t likely to burn and they’re in a flame-proof container. Make sure, also, to replace any electronic devices like Christmas lights or vent fans that do not work properly, as their malfunction could lead to a fire.

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