NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Today we are joined by Chief Fred Dudek, Everyday Hero CT Program Manager.
• According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in one of every five homes that have smokes alarms, none of the units work – mostly because they have dead, missing, or disconnected batteries.
• Families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire. You want to hear that alarm right away so you have time to get out.
• Because smoke can be in one area of the home and not another, all homes need more than one smoke detector. The NFPA recommends placing at least one smoke detector on each level of your home – including the basement – as well as in every bedroom and outside every sleeping area. In addition, the NFPA recommends connecting the alarms so that when one sounds they all sound.
• Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Every alarm comes with an expiration date on the back. If you don’t know how old your alarm is, just replace it. Test your smoke alarm per manufacturer’s instructions and replace the batteries as needed. This goes for hardwires alarms, too – they do expire and they do need to be tested regularly.
• Gently vacuum your smoke alarm monthly to prevent dirt from blocking the sensor.
• Do not disable a smoke alarm in nuisance situations. Do not “borrow” smoke alarm batteries for other uses such as toys or radios.
• Develop and practice a fire escape plan with the family, so that everyone knows what to do when the alarm sounds,
• If you need help selecting the right alarm or alarms for your home, Kidde’s website has some very helpful information. Your local volunteer fire department would be happy to help out as well – most will send someone to come take a look at your home and the placement of your alarms.
Connecticut has more than 300 fire departments staffed by over 26,000 firefighters.
• Eighty-three percent of all fire personnel in Connecticut are professionally trained volunteers, and the majority of fire departments throughout the state are experiencing a volunteer shortage. Local fire departments need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities, people willing and able to respond to emergencies whenever called upon, as well as support personnel such as fire police, administrative assistants, and more.
• Volunteer firefighters can be called upon 24 hours per day, seven days per week to abandon the warmth and comfort of their homes in the middle of the night or during a holiday celebration, leave the fun of family gatherings on sunny summer afternoons, enter burning buildings, rescue stranded hikers and struggling swimmers, extricate victims from automobiles, and more.
• Volunteer firefighters save their communities millions of dollars every year.
• The majority of fire departments throughout Connecticut are experiencing a volunteer shortage.
• Since 2014, Everyday Hero CT Has been working with fire departments throughout Connecticut. To date, the program has received nearly 600 volunteer applications, brought in more than 400 new members, and held 960 recruitment/retention events.
• The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others. Those who join their local fire departments sign up for one of the most rewarding opportunities they’ll ever have.
• Interested volunteers should visit www.EverydayHeroCT.org or call 1-800-Fire-Line.