by Adam Gruenewald
While seemingly unimportant, a Friday morning fire call in Norwood Young America served as a key reminder for residents and property owners to check smoke detectors.
Called in by a resident at 9:04 a.m., NYA firefighters and Carver County Sheriff’s Office members responded to a beeping smoke alarm in the basement level of apartments at 224 Main Street East.
After several attempts to notify the property owner, firefighters cut a padlock on the exterior basement entry door, discovering the beeping smoke alarm.
After replacing the batteries on the alarm, firefighters then remained on scene to secure the building with a lock temporarily borrowed from the city, according to NYA Fire Chief Steve Zumberge.
“Obviously when we do that we resecure the building and don’t leave it,” he said.
Zumberge added the incident served a reminder to check smoke alarms.
“Check your batteries, alarms are only good for 10 years and batteries are less,” he said.
According to the National Fire Protection Association website, www.nfpaa.org, smoke alarms are key parts of a home fire escape plan.
Among other tips, it is advised that large homes may need extra smoke alarms, a smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall, people should replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old and smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries need a new battery at least once a year.
Also in 2007-2011, smoke alarms sounded in half of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments, three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarm, no smoke alarms were present in 37 percent of the home fire deaths; in 23 percent of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound; and in reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, 47 percent of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
For more information, visit www.nfpaa.org.