Home Harrisonburg Firefighters remind community: Working alarms save lives

Harrisonburg Firefighters remind community: Working alarms save lives

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Almost three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms.

As the holiday season begins, the Harrisonburg Fire Department wants to stress to the community the criticality of working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Over the weekend, HFD responded to two separate incidents that convey the importance of working alarms. The first incident was a CO event on Franklin Street. There was a leak in a furnace causing CO to fill the house. Fortunately, because the home had working CO alarms, the residents were given the necessary time to evacuate their home safely. The residents called 9-1-1 promptly, the issue was identified and resolved.

The second incident was a structure fire in the 1000 block of Blue Ridge Drive. The home had no working smoke alarms, but fortunately a resident was awake when the incident occurred.

“Thankfully, despite no working smoke alarms in the home, there were no injuries or deaths,” Fire Chief Matthew Tobia said. “However, this is not always the case and without the advance warning provided by smoke and CO alarms, we could have had fatalities.”

After confirming that the fire was out, firefighters installed several smoke alarms in the home, occupied by a family with four young children. In addition to having working smoke and CO alarms, it is important to create an escape plan with the members of your household:

  • Draw a map showing all doors and windows
  • Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible.
  • Have an outside meeting place (like a tree or mailbox).
  • Practice at least two times a year (preferably at night when most fires occur).
  • Always sleep with the doors to bedrooms closed.

A closed door can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. For assistance or inquiries about our free smoke and CO alarm program or questions about fire safety, Harrisonburg City residents can call the Fire Department at 540-432-7703.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are free to city residents through local funding and a generous donation from Columbia Gas Company.



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