After deadly house fires, officials warn residents to check smoke detectors

Massachusetts News

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) — After a deadly fire in Hampden County on past Monday, fire officials are reminding us to make sure our homes are fire-safe.

Only weeks into 2021, and two deadly fires have already claimed multiple lives in Western Massachusetts. One in Sheffield left two dead, and most recently one person died in Agawam. Fire officials are urging people to check their smoke detectors.

“When the smoke detector is sounding, leave the house,” said Chief Alan Sirois of the Agawam Fire Department. “In most cases, the presence of smoke detectors is a major factor in most fatal fires. The early alert provided by smoke detectors gets you out safely every time.”

According to the US Fire Administration, you should have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test your smoke alarms once a month, and replace them after 10 years of use.

The sooner you know there is a fire, the more time you have to get out.

“It’s something I am going to start doing as a regular thing,” said Mike Knight of Agawam. “I’m going to pay a lot more attention and start checking it more regularly because that is certainly something that can go really bad without you noticing.”

Also crucial, having a fire escape plan. It’s recommended to practice this plan twice a year, so everyone is prepared and ready to act.

Smoking is the number one cause of home fire deaths in the U.S.

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