Lawrence County family receives smoke detector award

March 13, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

A Lawrence County family has received an award for saving themselves with the use of smoke detectors. The Edmonds family, of South Point, accepted the Smoke Detector On Guard (Smoke D.O.G.) Award from the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal and the South Point Volunteer Fire Department Monday. The ceremony was held at the South Point Volunteer Fire Department.

“The Smoke D.O.G. Award recognizes citizens like the Edmonds family who have saved their lives by responding to the warning sound of a smoke detector,” State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers said. “It is important to have working smoke detectors. Much like a guard dog, a smoke detector stands watch over the home both day and night.”

Karen Bowman, Legislative and Communications Project Manager with the Ohio Department of Commerce, said fire broke out in the Edmonds family home on Fourth Street East in South Point in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 9. Beverly Edmonds heard the smoke alarm and woke her children, Brandon and Anakin. They escaped the home safely.

“The facts speak clearly: working smoke detectors save lives and also double individuals’ chances of escaping a fire,” Marshal Flowers said. “I encourage all Ohioans to make sure their smoke detectors are properly placed, regularly tested and maintained. By taking the time to test them monthly, you might save your life, the lives of your family members and your property if fire ever breaks out in your home.”

Marshal Flowers also stresses that every family member should know at least two ways out of the home as part of an effective home fire escape plan.

The Edmonds family was presented the Smoke D.O.G. Award by representatives from the Division of State Fire Marshal and the South Point Volunteer Fire Department.

In 2010, Lawrence County suffered eight fire-related fatalities giving it the highest per-capita rate in the State of Ohio. The county’s firefighters responded by distributing more than 250 smoke alarms and conducting more than 50 fire safety programs. Lawrence County did not have a single fire-related death in 2011 or 2012.

In 2012, 90 fatal residential fires in Ohio claimed the lives of 106 people. Although a few are still undetermined, only nine homes of the 90 fatal fires are confirmed to have had working smoke detectors.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com.