Hosespray

Firefighters aim for fire prevention

Published 2:23am Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The blare of a smoke alarm may not be a welcome noise to wake up to, but Brewton Fire Chief Lawrence Weaver said it’s a sound that can save your life.

“We are promoting the installation and inspection of fire alarms this week during National Fire Safety and Prevention Week,” Weaver said. “Smoke alarms save lives and we want to do our part to make sure everyone’s alarms are working.”

Weaver said the Brewton Fire Department staff has been proactive in the installation and inspection of fire alarms since beginning a program to promote fire alarm use in 1999.

“We have been doing this for a while now and we are happy to continue this program,” Weaver said. “If a residence is in our jurisdiction, we can install alarms, check the batteries and test them. We have been installing free smoke alarms for elderly and low-income residents for several years, but we will be happy to help anyone get a smoke alarm installed in their home if they need one.”

Weaver said the main focus of the annual observance of fire safety and prevention week this year is on kitchen fires — a problem he has seen too often.

“Kitchen fires are one of the top problems when it comes to house fires,” Weaver said. “We have seen fires start in the kitchen because the cooking was unattended. Grease fires can cause so much damage so quickly it’s hard to imagine if you haven’t seen it. A large number of our fire calls are kitchen fires.”

Throughout the week, firefighters with the local department will be making appearances and hosting tours at the Brewton Fire Department station house to promote safety and prevention for all types of fires.

“We will be placing our old fire truck in various places around town with banners reminding people to check their smoke alarms,” Weaver said. “We want people to really think about their smoke alarms and making sure they work properly. We have really seen a difference in early warnings for people who have had smoke alarms alert them to issues in their home. The quicker a fire is noticed, the faster we can get the information and respond. That quick response minimizes damage and saves lives.”

Weaver also said a quick response is even faster when the firemen know where they are going.

“So many times in the middle of the night or a rain storm, we have had problems finding the right address because the house number wasn’t visible,” Weaver said. “That’s when we made a special effort to have reflective address posts made for the residents in this area.”

Weaver said a post with the address numbers can be installed for Brewton residents for $25. Posts with numbers constructed for mailbox use is $35. If a resident has a post in place, a plaque with the reflective numbering is available for $15, he said.

“Having a visible marker to make your address visible saves lives,” Weaver said. “It can even be a benefit for your neighbors. Having a point to go on helps everyone.”

To contact the Brewton Fire Department for information on fire safety, prevention or escape planning or for address posts and plaques, call the office at 867-7165.

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