Smoke Alarms Alert Family to Fire

Friday, June 28, 2013 - 11:06pm

Smoke Alarms Alert Family to Fire

A couple and their infant child are safe thanks to the shrill of their smoke alarms around 11:20 Friday night.

The family lives at 420 Jean Street and awoke to the sound of their smoke alarms. The husband ran downstairs and noticed smoke coming from the basement. His wife grabbed their child and everyone got our safely and no one was hurt.

When City of Madison Fire Department crews arrived, they noticed heavy smoke coming from one side of the home. Firefighters were told by the homeowner that the fire was in the basement. When firefighters opened the front door, they noticed light smoke down to the floor. As they entered the basement, the smoke and heat intensified. A TIC -Thermal Imaging Camera was used to help locate the fire. The fire was extinguished under ten minutes. Firefighters also noticed water spraying from a main line in the basement, which slowed the progress of the fire. It was found that the heat from the fire had melted a solder joint in the water line.

The home suffered fire and water damage in the basement area and smoke damage throughout the home. The family has insurance and will be staying with relatives.

Damage is estimated at $40,000. The fire is under investigation.

This is another good example of how smoke alarms can save lives.

Smoke alarms save lives. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.

Download these NFPA safety tips on smoke alarms (PDF, 219 KB).

• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
• Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer's instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturer's instructions for testing and maintenance.
• Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 year old or sooner if they do not respond properly.
• Be sure the smoke alarm has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
• If cooking fumes or steam sets off nuisance alarms, replace the alarm with an alarm that has a "hush" button. A "hush" button will reduce the alarm's sensitivity for a short period of time.

  • Bernadette Galvez, 608-279-7168
  • , 608-261-9844