The Local Volunteers of the DCFD
For nearly 40 years the men and women of the DeKalb County Fire Department have given their time and resources to provide the people of DeKalb County, Tennessee, the best fire protection possible. They are our friends and family, our neighbors who wake up in the middle of the night to rush towards danger. They are the ones you look for in a time of need.
Over the years the department has seen triumph and tragedy. Through wrecks and fires, to installing smoke detectors and talking with local students about fire safety, the members of the DeKalb County Fire Department have always strove to protect the people and property of the communities they serve. No matter what time of day or night, whenever there is an emergency there is nothing better than the sound of their sirens or the sight of their lights.
They are special people among us. They are volunteers, giving their time and money to protect the people they serve. While many of us are sitting at home watching television, or visiting with family on a lazy Sunday afternoon, they are learning and training. They are donning fifty pounds of gear to enter smoke filled buildings with zero visibility. They are learning CPR or how to stabilize a vehicle after being involved in a crash. They are sacrificing their time and dedicating their lives to simply help those in need.
They receive no pay for their efforts, only the satisfaction of a life saved, or perhaps a home spared from devastation. They receive little recognition, and usually end up paying hundreds if not thousands buying their own lights and sirens, and other personal protective gear. Not only do they give their time to respond to emergencies and attend training sessions, they also volunteer during fundraisers to help pay for the vital services they provide.
So, the next time you see one of your local firefighters give him or her a pat on the back or a simple thank you. We all hope we will never need them, but we are all extremely glad they are there for us when we do. They are the men and women of the DeKalb County Fire Department, no matter when you need them, they are there.
Smoke Alarms save lives
It is a well established fact that smoke alarms save lives. The US Fire Administration reports that more than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and more than 25,000 are injured. Many of them might be alive today if they had only had the information they needed to avoid a disaster. The following life-saving tips could boost survival rates dramatically. Nearly half the residential fires and three-fifths of residential fatalities occur in homes with no smoke alarms.
NFPA estimates that 94 percent of US homes have at least one smoke alarm and most states have laws requiring them in residential dwellings. Homes with smoke alarms (whether or not they are operational) typically have a death rate that is 40-50% less than the rate for homes without alarms. Sadly, in three of every 10 reported fires in homes equipped with smoke alarms, the devices did not work. Households with non-working smoke alarms now outnumber those with no smoke alarms. Most often smoke alarms don't work because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries.
The NFPA suggests the following safety tips. While smoke alarms alert people to fires, families still need to develop and practice home fire escape plans so that they can get out quickly.
Place a smoke alarm on each level of your home and in all outside bedrooms and check smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button. If you cannot reach the button easily, use a broom handle.
Change the batteries in your alarms twice a year - perhaps when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.
Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do - leave the building immediately by crawling under the smoke when they hear it sound. If cooking smoke sets off the alarm, do not disable it. Turn on the range fan, open a window or wave a towel near the alarm.
Smoke alarms wear out over time. Replace yours if it is 10 years old or more.
Consider buying a lithium battery-powered smoke alarm which will operate for 10 years and is sealed so it cannot be tampered with or opened.
If you sleep with the door closed, the NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms inside the room. In new homes, smoke alarms are required in all sleeping rooms, according to the National Fire Alarm Code. Because smoke rises, alarms should be mounted high on walls or ceilings. Wall-mounted alarms should be positioned four to 12 inches from the ceiling; ceiling-mounted alarms should be positioned four inches away from the nearest wall. On vaulted ceilings, be sure to mount the alarm at the highest point of the ceiling.
Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window, door or where drafts could interfere with their operation.
Be sure that the smoke alarm you buy carries the label of an independent testing lab. For a list of manufacturers that distribute smoke alarms for the hearing impaired, please call the NFPA´s Center for High-Risk Outreach at 617 984-7826.
Alarms that are hard-wired to the home's electrical system should be installed by a qualified electrician.
Smoke Detectors: What you need to know
In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke detectors will provide an early warning alarm to your household. This alarm could save your own life and those of your loved ones by providing the chance to escape.
Smoke Detector Quiz
The Smoke Detectors in my home:
Y/N are installed on every level, especially near sleeping areas.
Y/N are tested once a month.
Y/N have their batteries replaced with new ones at least once a year.
Y/N are vacuumed over and kept free of dust.
Y/N have their batteries replaced and are retested, should they start making a "chirping noise".
Y/N are replaced with new smoke detectors every ten years.
If you answered no to any of these questions, keep reading for the answers to the most commonly asked questions about some detectors.
Why should my home have smoke detectors? They are the single most important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal – so you and your family can escape.
Where do I put them? Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke detectors both inside and outside sleeping areas. Also smoke detectors should be installed on the ceiling or above eye level on the walls. Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke detectors at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Are smoke detectors hard to install? No. In most cases, all you will need is a screwdriver. Many brands are self-adhesive and will automatically stick to the wall or ceiling. Be sure to follow the directions from the manufacturer because each brand is different.
How do I keep my smoke detector working? Smoke detectors are very easy to take care of. Two simple steps to remember are: (1) Replace the batteries once a year. If your smoke detector starts making a "chirping" noise, replace the batteries and retest it. (2) Keep them clean. Dust and debris can interfere with their operation, so vacuum over and around your smoke detector regularly.