by Kari Blurton
While the State Fire Marshall determines the home fire at 3502 Fairway Drive was “accidental,” Hays Fire Chief Gary Brown said the occupants in the home were saved by their smoke alarms.
Chief Brown said this is a “prime” example of the importance of smoke alarms.
“This couple, who lives in the house were awakened by their smoke alarms and had the time and the opportunity to get out,” said Brown, “When people are asleep all their senses are dulled. Smoke alarms were really designed to protect you when you’re asleep.”
The fire at Fairway Drive was reported 3:37 a.m. Monday. When firefighters arrived they found a fire in the attached garage of the home with fire spreading into the attic and the living areas. A vehicle was also on fire in the driveway.
Brown said research has shown that having a working smoke alarm that protects the sleeping areas of your home reduces your risk of dying in a fire by 50%.
“And quite frankly in my experience, when I started in the fire service there were no smoke alarms and our national fire death rate was 12,000 per year,” said Brown, “today it is 4,000 a year and that is directly attributed to smoke alarms.”
Brown encourages anyone who cannot afford a smoke alarm or needs help installing one to call the Hays Fire Department at 785-628- 7330. The department can provide free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for those in need.
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