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Working smoke detectors important for home

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 06 2013 05:00:57 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 07 2013 05:07:18 AM CDT

Working smoke detectors important

EASTON, Pa. -

If you do not have working smoke detectors in your home, you could be putting you own life at risk.

Just last week three people died in Easton after flames ripped through their apartment. Fire officials say there were no working smoke detectors inside. 

Although smoke detectors can be viewed as an annoyance sometimes, firefighters say it is important to always keep them operational.

"You want it to wake you up in the middle of the night. You do not want to be woken up when the house is fully charged with smoke and now you have to make your way out of the house with your kids. It is just, you want the earliest warning possible," said Allentown Fire Captain John Christopher.

Unfortunately Joy Lozier, her four year old son and her cousin did not have the warning they needed to evacuate their Easton home on September 30th. There were no smoke detectors in their apartment. All three died from the blaze.

Captain Christopher says fires double in size every 30 seconds. So without a smoke detector, many fires get out of control before emergency crews can arrive.

"Those fires tend to be our bigger fires because we never get the early warning they are intended to produce. They are already out of control by the time we are called," said Christopher.

The fire captain recommends replacing the batteries in your smoke detector every 6 months and then replacing your actual smoke detector every 5-7 years.

In addition to maintaining your smoke detector, Christopher says it is also important to buy a carbon monoxide detector for your home. He says it is the number one cause of accidental poising in the United States and it killed more than 500 people last year.

"That is a substance that is colorless, odorless, tasteless. The only way you are going to know that it is there is if you have a detector," said Christopher.

The ultimate goal is to protect yourself and your family from harm.