On Monday morning, a fire at a home in St. Louis caused extensive damage to the structure and injured two firefighters. The home was a brick, 2-story with a third level attic space. Investigators said the blaze was contained to the attic and the roof. A single occupant of the home escaped without injury, along with his two dogs. While inside the home, two firefighters were seriously injured when a flash over occurred.
This dangerous fire serves as a reminder of the importance of having a home fire safety plan in place, which includes working smoke detectors. When a house fire breaks out, the smoke spreads quickly. This is the main reason why all homes should have working smoke detectors – which will give occupants ample warning and time to get out safety.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends all homes follow these smoke alarm guidelines:
- There are 2 kinds of smoke alarms –ionization alarms which are quicker to warn about flaming fires and photoelectric alarms which are quicker to warn about smoldering fires.It is best to have both ionization and photoelectric alarms installed in your home.
- Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling or as high up on a wall as possible. If installing near a kitchen, be sure to it is at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove/oven.
- Smoke alarms should be tested each month and the batteries should be replaced at least once per year.
- People who are hard of hearing or deaf can have special detectors installed, which activate strobe lights or shake a bed.
- Smoke alarms have expiration dates. Check the dates and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- 3 out of 5 fire deaths occur in homes were there are no smoke alarms or the alarms are not working/don’t have batteries.
- If you cannot afford batteries, most fire departments offer free batteries through programs funded by battery companies.
Casey & Devoti is a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm. Together Matt Casey and Matt Devoti have over 40 years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including: automobile, truck and train accidents, medical malpractice, product and premises liability, elder care and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death.