Working smoke detectors likely saved a couple and their pets Thursday night when their dishwasher malfunctioned and started a fire.
Flames quickly spread to the home’s kitchen cabinets, filling the home with smoke.
Shrieking smoke alarms woke the couple, who had turned the dishwasher on before going to bed.
Fire Chief Marty deMasi said the smoke alarms averted a potentially deadly situation.
“Your nose is a terrible smoke alarm,” he said.
Firefighters knocked the fire out quickly, saving most of the doublewide modular home in the 300 block of West Corral Drive.
deMasi said firefighters used roughly three gallons of water. Although the fire was relatively small, the department sent every working firefighter.
“Since you never know what the situation is going to be, you send those units,” he said.
The home will likely need repairs, but is salvageable thanks to the homeowners’ quick actions and the working smoke alarms.
The fire is a great example of how effective smoke alarms are and how important it is for homeowners to check their detectors’ batteries regularly, he said.
Nationally, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths are in properties without working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. A working smoke alarm significantly increases the chances of surviving a home fire.
Many fatal fires begin late at night or early in the morning, so the U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
Smoke alarm tips
• Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside bedrooms. If you keep your bedroom doors closed, place a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
• Check smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button. If you cannot reach the button easily, use a broom handle.
• Change the batteries in your alarms at least once a year.
• If cooking smoke sets off the alarm, do not disable it. Turn on the range fan, open a window or wave a towel near the alarm.
• Smoke alarms wear out over time. Replace yours if it is 10 years old or more.
Source: U.S. Fire Administration