W.Va. fire dept.: less than 36 percent of calls had working smoke detectors

Fire Chief Ed Wills: "It was surprising the numbers were so high."


Firefighting news service Fire Rescue 1 recently reported on a story which originally appeared in The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va) in which Fire Chief Ed Willis expressed his surprise at the number of nonfunctioning home smoke alarms encountered by his department.

According to The Register-Herald:

 "...only 36 percent of the structures the department responded to in 2014 had smoke detectors, and of those, only 67 percent were operational. It was surprising the numbers were so high," said Fire Chief Ed Wills."


The Beckley Fire Department responded to 1,129 emergency calls last year, including 44 structure fires and nearly 300  emergency medical calls.

Chief Willis added:


"Through the years, we've gone through so many homes and it's not uncommon for there to be no detector present, or for the batteries to either be dead or gone."


Fire Prevention Week 2015 is just around the corner. This year's theme is "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!" - reminding everyone that half of all home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11PM and 7AM - when most people are asleep.

Properly installed and working smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a home fire emergency.




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