“The Smoke D.O.G. Award recognizes families like the Bentleys who have saved their lives by responding to the warning sound of a smoke detector,” Michael Bell, state fire marshal, said. “It’s important to have working smoke detectors. Much like a guard dog, a smoke detector stands watch over the home both day and night.”
In a release from the Ohio Department of Commerce said on Feb. 2, two fires broke out in the Bentley home at 1760 Township Road 256, Kitts Hill. The first fire was small and Mr. Bentley extinguished flames on a sofa with a fire extinguisher.
The family did not realize the fire was caused by a growing attic fire in which debris from that fire had dropped down a vent and onto the sofa.
Later, the attic fire progressed and Jacob heard the smoke detectors. He then awakened his father and mother, Crystal. The family was able to safely escape the home and call the fire department.
“The facts speak clearly: working smoke detectors save lives and also double individuals’ chances of escaping a nighttime fire,” Bell said.
In 2009, there have been 23 fire fatalities. “In only three cases have we had confirmed working smoke detectors,” Shane Cartmill, public information officer for the State Fire Marshal, said. “It’s proof positive that smoke detectors can and do save lives.”
When smoke detectors are installed, they double the occupants’ chances of escaping alive. Often times they can help residents learn about a fire sooner.
“The Smoke D.O.G. award recognizes people who have used smoke detectors in escaping a house fire. The award was created to do something positive, when you have a negative situation such as a fire,” Cartmill said.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the death rate per 100 reported fires is twice as high in homes without working smoke detectors as homes with working smoke detectors. The NFPA also reports an estimated 890 lives could be saved each year if all homes had working smoke detectors.
The state fire marshal recommends;
• Install a smoke detector on each level of your home and inside each bedroom.
• Consider using dual sensor smoke detectors that combine ionization and photoelectric technology in one unit.
• Check your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least twice a year.
• Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke detectors.
• Do not remove batteries to put in other appliances such as personal stereos or games.
• If cooking smoke sets off the alarm, do not disable it. Wave a towel, open a window or turn on the range fan to clear the smoke.
• Smoke detectors wear out over time. Replace your smoke detectors every 10 years.
• Keep smoke detectors clean. Dust debris can interfere with their operation. Vacuum over and around your smoke detector regularly.
This is the first Smoke D.O.G. award given by the department throughout the state.