Smoke detectors save lives

This is the time of the year when home safety experts warn us the danger of fire goes up. Colder weather means heating equipment shut off for months is put back in service. The Christmas season means some of us go all-out in decorating, sometimes overloading circuits and wires with hundreds, even thousands of decorative lights. And, let’s be honest, some people are experimenting with cooking techniques that result in burning more than just the food.

Sometimes burning candles or wax warmers get forgotten. (And, in addition to fire hazards, jar candles forgotten and burned down to almost nothing can result in broken glass, too.)

What if, despite all our precautions, fire breaks out in our homes? Will we and our loved ones be able to get out safely?

Our chances of escaping a fire are increased exponentially if we are alerted to it quickly. Hundreds of people each year die of smoke inhalation or because they are trapped by flames.

Smoke, heat and carbon dioxide/carbon monoxide detectors can give us the head start we need to survive fires in our homes. Statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration make detectors’ value brutally clear.

Thirty-three West Virginians and 94 Ohioans have perished in fires thus far this year.

Statistics on whether working smoke detectors were present in homes struck by fires are collected by the agency. Its numbers show that just seven of the 127 fire deaths in our states this year occurred in homes where smoke detectors were installed and working. All seven of those were in Ohio.

Get one or more. Ensure they are in good operating condition. It could save your life.