Probably the most important fixture in a home is a fully functioning smoke detector. On Thursday, Key West Fire Chief Alan Averette and members of the department were thrilled to receive a donation of 150 smoke alarms from Margaritaville Resort, presenting by General Manager Diane Schmidt.
The smoke alarms are free and available to any household that does not have smoke alarms. They are available at Fire Station #1 on North Roosevelt Blvd.
“We are so grateful for this donation,” said Capt. Jason Barroso. “This has become a generous tradition that helps prevent fires in the community. We want to thank Ms. Schmidt as well as Andy Strunk with Strunk Ace Hardware who has, for many years, donated smoke detector during Fire Prevention Month.”
The Key West Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ‑‑ the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years ‑‑ to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” reminding us to stay alert and use caution when cooking to reduce the risk of kitchen fires.
The theme reminds the community to stay in the kitchen while frying food on the stovetop, keep a three-foot kid-free zone around cooking areas, and keep anything that might catch fire away from stovetops.
At this week’s City Commission meeting, Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission proclaimed October 4th through the 10th as Fire Prevention Week.
The Key West Fire Department considers all of the month of October as Fire Prevention Month, and is hosting a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, including visits of fire personnel and apparatus to schools for life safety education, as well as visits to the fire stations by day care facilities. These visits will be conducted using CDC Covid-19 safety guidelines.
NFPA statistics show that home fires killed 2,630 people in the U.S. in 2017, and fire department responded to 357,000 home fires that year.
Fire Marshal Danny Blanco notes that, although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to a complacency that can cost a life.
“Working in the fire service for many years, we know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” said Blanco. “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life-saving difference that just taking care in the kitchen can make.”