As the fire-prone holidays arrive, the San Antonio Fire Department is reminding the public that free smoke detectors are available to local homeowners within the city limits, according to Deborah Foster, SAFD spokesperson.
To request a smoke detector, call 211, the United Way helpline, or 207-8422.
Foster said firefighters themselves will come and install the smoke detector “with no worries and ensure it is working before they leave.”
She said the generosity of local donors helped create a supply of smoke detectors.
Instead of the usual handful of requests, a recent on-air mention about the smoke detector program immediately prompted 40 requests.
Foster said that may be 40 families whose lives could saved by those smoke detectors.
She said photo-electric sensors are triggered within seconds of a fire actually happening.
“The reason it was made was so that people can get out before the fire does not let them,” Foster said.
She said the elderly and children are most at risk of losing their lives.
Foster said last year, San Antonio had seven fire fatalities, the median age was 73, the oldest victim, 91.
She urges neighbors to check on neighbors to make sure they have smoke detectors that work.
Foster also said parents should teach their children what to do when they hear three loud beeps, as if to say, “Get out now.”
She said it’s vital to practice your family’s escape plan.
“Get down on the floor, crawl low, go to one of two pre-determined exits, you go to a meeting place outside,” Foster said.
People have a lot on their minds during the holidays, Foster said, “Safety is not always the first one, but we need to make sure it’s always safety first.”