New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Commentary

NBFD Conducts Home Safety Surveys

Fire departments across the United States are typically perceived as reactive in nature. An emergency occurs, 911 is called and the fire department responds to swiftly remedy the situation. From a historical perspective, this description is spot on. However, the New Britain Fire Department (NBFD) has made a commitment to being more proactive in the community, while still providing the highest level of professional emergency care.

The vast majority of fire injuries and deaths take place in residential structures. The NBFD is fully committed to assisting city residents in identifying and mitigating potential fire risks within their homes. Home safety surveys are an example of one of the progressive community outreach programs provided by the NBFD. Home safety surveys are a proven method of successfully reducing the loss of life, injury and property damage from fire.

A home safety survey consists of firefighters and a home’s occupants walking through a home together in an effort to identify potential fire hazards. Firefighters will provide recommendations on how to correct any identified fire hazards. For example, running wiring under carpeting is a hazard that has contributed to numerous fires. If this is noticed, firefighters will educate the residents on why this is a danger and recommend a safe alternative.

While conducting a home safety survey, firefighters can assist a family in the development of an emergency escape plan. Some of the key elements in an emergency escape plan are the identification of alternative exits from a home and establishing a meeting place where family members can safely gather.

Ensuring that a home has smoke alarms with working batteries is a major focus of home safety surveys. The NBFD is able to provide 9 volt batteries and smoke alarms for homes that lack this essential level of fire protection. In addition, multiple family homes, homes with senior citizens, and homes with young children living in them are eligible to receive a tamper proof lithium battery smoke alarm. This type of smoke alarm is different than the standard make and model in that once the battery is installed it cannot be removed and it has a lifetime of ten years. All of the aforementioned materials are free to city residents. This includes the installation of batteries and smoke alarms if needed.

Written fire safety information, in the form of handouts and pamphlets, will also be provided to the residents of a home during safety survey. The safety knowledge contained in these materials could prove invaluable in ensuring that a home is safe from fire.

Home safety surveys can be requested by contacting Lieutenant Donald King at 860-826-4213. Scheduling will be done at the convenience of the residents who want to ensure that they are living in a fire safe environment. Please don’t delay in protecting your home and family from a fire by scheduling your home safety survey with the NBFD today.