NORWALK, Conn. -- Following the tragic New Year's weekend fire that killed a Bridgeport toddler, the Norwalk Fire Department is reminding residents that working smoke alarms save lives.
While the cause of the Bridgeport fire still is being investigated, city officials did say the smoke alarms were disconnected, but they do not know why. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half, said officials with the Norwalk Fire Department.
Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Because of that, the fire department, in partnership with the American Red Cross, is offering to install free smoke detectors and conduct home safety checks for residents. To schedule a visit and request an alarm installation, contact the American Red Cross at 877-287-3327 and choose option 1. Or visit www.redcross.org/ct/schedule-a-visit to schedule an appointment.
In addition, the department and Red Cross offer the following fire safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
- Test your smoke alarms every month.
- Use the hush/silence button if the alarm sounds due to overcooked food, DO NOT disable the alarm.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm.
- An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires.
- Both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms, are recommended.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond. Practice fire drills with all family members and identify one place for everyone to meet if there’s a fire. Make sure babysitters and overnight guests know the meeting place as well.
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