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August 2, 2017

VT Fire Safety Release - Smoke and CO Detectors

STATE OF VERMONT

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

DIVISION OF FIRE SAFETY

PRESS RELEASE

 

August 2, 2017

 

Contact: VT Division of Fire Safety, 1-800-640-2106

 

VT DFS Reminds Vermonters: Smoke and CO Alarms Save Lives

 

Berlin, VT – A tragic fire in Vermont this week is a sad reminder of the importance of smoke and CO detectors.  The Vermont Division of Fire Safety (DFS) is reminding everyone of the importance of having properly installed and maintained smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in the home so future tragedies can be avoided.

 

The National Fire Protection Association Statistics indicates 85% of all US fire deaths occur in homes, including single family owner occupied homes, one- or two- family dwellings, and apartment buildings.  Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms provide critical early warning of a fire, giving people additional time to escape.

 

Between 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half of the home fires reported to US fire departments throughout the country. The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes without working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms. In fires where smoke alarms were present, but did not operate, almost half of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.  Dead batteries were the cause of one-quarter of the smoke alarm failures.

 

Vermont is no different, most fire deaths occur in single family homes with missing or inoperable smoke alarms.  VT DFS urges everyone to make sure smoke alarms are properly installed on every floor level of the home, outside the immediate vicinity of all sleeping rooms, and in each sleeping room. We encourage and require photoelectric type smoke alarms in those buildings we regulate to give you the earliest possible warning of a smoldering fire, typical of a home fire. Every month the smoke alarms need to be tested and accordingly smoke alarms have a shelf-life and should be replaced every 10 years – at most.

 

Throughout the country residential type sprinkler systems are becoming the most notable fire safety protection feature available to protect human life.  Home sprinkler systems are becoming more affordable and can extinguish a fire, stopping its spread and preventing flashover from occurring, cutting the risk of dying in a fire by over 80%.

 

In addition to having working smoke alarms and a residential sprinkler system, another important element is to have a fire evacuation plan that is shared with the family and practiced. Stay out once out do not re-enter a burning building and make sure you have two ways of out of every room.