Nov 04 - mkamplain
D. Gary Davis
Recently we spoke about time. Along that same subject I am sure you have heard many sayings and quotes. Time marches on, today is the first day of the rest of your life, and today I would like to add: The more things change, the more things tend to stay the same.
This past week time, itself, did change. And like always before some things have stayed the same. The beginning of our colder season is the time of year when many of our citizens may use a variety of heat sources to keep themselves and their families warm. This climate makes it even more important to do what we should have already done and that is, when we have a time change, act upon the reminder to not only change your clocks but also check your smoke alarm batteries. Tennessee State Fire Marshall Gary West has reminded all Tennesseans once again to "check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors this past weekend” to optimize their effectiveness and ensure they are working properly. He went on to say "Alarms, even those that are hard wired, should have their batteries replaced regularly and should be tested MONTHLY to ensure they’re providing the proper protection”.
Statistics show that in Tennessee 70 percent of the fire fatalities last year occurred in homes with NO smoke alarms or NO working smoke alarms. It is critical to install smoke alarms and to also replace batteries regularly. The smoke and toxic gases generated by a fire can cause people to sleep more deeply therefore narrowing the chances of surviving a fire. The early warning of a WORKING smoke alarm can double the chances of surviving a fire by increasing the amount of time a person has to be able to escape a fire in their home. There is no way to predict when a fire will occur, so even one night without an operational smoke alarm can be a danger to all who live in a home.
Some time proven fire safety advice would include:
1. Smoke alarms should be installed in every room where an occupant sleeps, outside every sleeping area and on each level of a home, including the basement.
2. For best protection equip your home with a combination of both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual sensor alarms. Interconnect the alarms so when one sounds they will all sound.
3. Dust or vacuum smoke alarms whenever the battery is changed
4. Have a working fire escape plan with 2 ways out of EVERY room (if possible) and have a predetermined meeting place outside. Also be sure to practice this plan with each family member, including children.
5. Test alarms once a month using the test button.
6. Replace the entire alarm if it is over 10 years old or if it doesn’t work properly when tested.
7. When a smoke alarm sounds, get out of the home immediately, closing doors behind you. Go to your pre-planned meeting place and call 9-1-1.
These ideas are part of a plan to keep not only you, but you family, safe during a fire emergency. And while Cher had a hit song called "Turn Back Time”, this is something that only happens in movies, song or in the minds of those who call Hollywood home. In the real world time truly does keep marching on and what is another true saying that has helped me over time is "If it is meant to be, it is up to me”, meaning that we have to take responsibility for ourselves and work to ensure that our families are protected. Those who do this on a daily basis ensure the safety of themselves, their families and in so doing, our community as well. Thank you for ensuring our safety and for continuing this and other activities that keeps Bradley County, Tennessee at its best.
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