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Madison Fire Department
Committed to recruiting and retaining a qualified, diverse, inclusive and safe fire workforce.

GIFTS OF LOVE - GIFTS OF LIFE

The Madison Fire Department has a few suggestions for gifts that could save the life of someone you love.

Smoke Detectors Studies have shown that having a smoke detector in your home cuts the risk of dying in a fire in half. Smoke detectors are effective & inexpensive life saving devices that can provide early warning in the event of a fire, thus allowing time for escape. Is your current smoke detector too old? A detector should work for about 10 years, after which time it should be discarded. Your new detector may come with a reminder label saying "replace by 2006." If not, post your own reminder note. Prices range locally from $5 to $30 depending on the power source used & the number of special features present.

Fire Extinguishers Almost 90 percent of American homes have at least one smoke detector, yet only about 30 percent of American homes have even one fire extinguisher. Be sure you buy a model large enough to protect your home against fires of all common burning materials. We recommend a multipurpose 2-A:10-B:C fire extinguisher to deal with most kinds of household fires. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the basic steps to operate the extinguisher & that the extinguisher you buy is a rechargeable model. Prices range from $20 to $40 depending on size & features.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors More than 200 deaths a year in the USA from carbon monoxide (CO) result from an inefficient or malfunctioning furnace, space heater, or other fuel-burning appliance. Regularly maintaining your home's heating system is the best way to reduce the risk of CO poisoning.

But just to be safe, you can also install a detector that continuously monitors the air for high levels of CO, much as the smoke detector is always on-guard against signs of fire. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has proposed that a CO detector be mandatory for all new residential construction, starting in 1995, and recommends that all existing homes be equipped with the devices. A CO detector is most important in homes that have a fuel-fired hot-air furnace or a space heater, wood stove, or fireplace -- the most common household sources of carbon monoxide. Prices range from about $30 to $60 depending on the power source used.

For more information on smoke detectors, fire extinguishers & carbon monoxide detectors please contact the Community Education Unit at (608) 266-4420.