FALCONER – Firefighters in Falconer are stressing the importance of checking smoke detectors and children knowing what sounds they make as part of a nationwide education effort during Fire Prevention Month.
Falconer Fire Department EMT and Fire Prevention Officer Katie Delahoy says that during online learning last year, teachers noticed student’s smoke detectors chirping in the background of their zoom sessions.
Delahoy and her team usually visit schools to help shed light on the issue, however the pandemic has made that tricky.
“It’s going to look different this year because we are not able to go into the school with COVID,” Delahoy explained. 2:31 “We are reaching out to the library this year we are going to be doing story time at the library and we are still doing fire prevention at the school.”
That’s why she says it is so important to make sure children, and their families, are prepared for a fire emergency.
“Number one is you want to make sure you know how to test your smoke detector, if you test your smoke detector, you are going to know the beep and you are going to know that is the sound it is going to make if it’s working,” Delahoy furthered. “If you consistently hear a chirping noise over 30 seconds long, that’s an indication that your battery is going to go dead.”
Delahoy she says it’s very important for kids to know the different sounds, especially carbon monoxide detectors.
“Something that is nationwide that was realized is the amount of smoke detectors that are not properly installed, or batteries were chirping in the background, because the smoke detector was dying,” said Delahoy.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association over 40 percent of house fires that result in death are due to improperly installed smoke alarms or the fact that none were present.
“It is a firefighter’s worst nightmare to ever hear a fire go across with entrapment,” explained Delahoy. “If I can do that and I can reach the community the best I can and get the word out there I want to be able to do that part to prevent any entrapments.”
The fire safety expert says it is especially important to help those with special needs.
“An effort we took this year we reached out to Rich Bianco and worked with his ESA team its vital that a child with special needs understands that we are their friends and we’re here to help them,” furthered Delahoy.