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EDITORIAL: Detectors

A smoke detector can make the difference between life and death.

The fire department says homeowners should check their detectors every month to make sure they are working and the batteries are fresh.

That may seem like common sense, but honestly, who does it? When was the last time you checked your smoke detector to make sure it was working properly?

A fire that destroyed much of a house on Woods End Lane in March should be a wake-up call: Don’t take fire prevention measures for granted. Fortunately, that house was unoccupied at the time of the fire and no one was hurt.

But five people in Stamford weren’t so lucky last Christmas when they died in a fire in a home where smoke detectors hadn’t been installed.

Older homes, especially, may not be equipped with smoke detectors, or with enough of them. Sometimes people remove the batteries to prevent nuisance alarms. Others simply never get around to checking the batteries.

Smoke detectors are a minor expense and a minor inconvenience when weighed against the clear benefit they offer. So why not pick a day, say the first of each month (hey, that’s tomorrow!), to press the test button on your smoke alarms to make sure they work. While you’re at it, you may as well make sure your CO detectors are working too.

If your alarms aren’t working and you need help, call the Weston Volunteer Fire Department at 203-222-2647. They’ll help with installation and cover the costs of a new detector or batteries if you can’t afford them.

On average, someone dies in a fire every two hours, and fires kill more Americans each year than all natural disasters combined. Let’s keep Weston out of those statistics.

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