AFD and Local Community Groups Led Home Fire Preparedness Campaign

By Michael VanZile, Chief of the Auburn Fire Department

The Auburn Fire Department partnered with the American Red Cross and The Rotary Club of Auburn to conduct a neighborhood door-to-door smoke alarm check / installation campaign last week.

Auburn firefighters, Red Cross volunteers and Auburn Rotary Club members went door to door in the West Edge Mobile Home Park, checking existing smoke alarms and, if needed, installing new batteries or new smoke alarms—completely free of charge.

The event was part of a national Red Cross initiative focused on reducing home fire deaths and injuries by 25% in the next five years.

During the event, 99 new smoke alarms were installed. Firefighters and volunteers also talked with residents about a home fire safety checklist and the importance of home fire escape planning.

I would like to thank the members of the Auburn Rotary Club and the American Red Cross for their assistance in providing a successful program to the community.

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
  • People who have a hearing disability can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.

For more information about smoke alarms and other home safety information, visit the fire department section of the city website: http://www.ci.auburn.in.us/departments/fire-department/. You can also contact the AFD at 260-925-8255 or fire@ci.auburn.in.us.