Community Risk Reduction Program confirms first smoke alarm “sav - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Community Risk Reduction Program confirms first smoke alarm “save”

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PASCO, WA - The City of Pasco Fire Department’s Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Program serves as the focal point of a collaborative effort with City departments, community partners and social services to identify, mitigate, and reduce the dependence of “at risk” populations on emergency services.

One of the services of the CRR Program is replacement of smoke alarms and alarm batteries in private homes. After several years of this service, the fire department had a confirmed use of a CRR-installed smoke alarm notification.

The smoke alarms in question were installed last year in a home as part of CRR’s older adult smoke alarm campaign. Normally, the fire department would install 10-year battery-powered smoke alarms supplied by the Red Cross. However, this home had hard-wired alarms in the home as required by code. These alarms are interconnected so that if one sounds an alarm, all alarms will sound to notify the entire home. Consequently, all six alarms in the house needed to be replaced, but the homeowner could not afford the cost of replacement.   

Fire department staff contacted Lowe’s Home Improvement and told them the story. Lowe’s offered a discount on the alarms needed, along with some wire adapters to ensure the existing wiring would be compatible. Fire department staff then installed the alarms.

In March, the Fire department responded to a 9-1-1 call to this address, and found the house filling with smoke from the oven. The CRR team recognized the address and also responded. Evidently, the occupant had turned on the oven to “self-clean” but did not realize they had left some pans in the oven. The occupant then went to take a nap, but was awakened by the smoke alarms activating. Fire department crews shut down the power to the stove, opened the oven, and took the hot pans outside. Crews then used an electric fan to clear the rest of the smoke from the house, and reset the smoke alarms. If the occupant had not been alerted by the smoke alarms, this could have easily resulted in an oven fire, or possibly a fully involved residential fire.  

“The CRR program has many benefits for the community,” said Pasco Fire Chief Bob Gear, “but the number one benefit is saving lives and this smoke alarm installation did just that.”