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Albemarle County Fire Rescue Credits Smoke Alarm for Minimizing Damage in Residential Structure Fire

Smoke Alarm Installed as Part of County’s Project RISK Initiative 

Albemarle County Fire Rescue (ACFR) credits a smoke alarm, installed as part of Project RISK (Residential, Inspections, Smoke Alarms, Knowledge), for minimizing the damage from a house fire that occurred in Keswick on the afternoon of Monday, June 20, 2016. A person in the house at the time of the fire heard the smoke alarm and alerted the rest of the individuals in the home. The smoke alarm ensured that everyone got out of the house safely and that the fire department was notified before the fire spread and did further damage.

An absence of smoke alarms and a lack of exit planning are the primary reasons for residential fires and civilian casualties. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms, more than one-third (38 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present, and the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. Albemarle County Fire Rescue developed Project RISK to address these statistics.

The program utilizes a door-to-door campaign that addresses smoke alarm installation and awareness, escape planning, and fire drills in Albemarle County. Project RISK is aimed at focusing on prevention of poor outcomes in the areas of our community that are the most vulnerable. By combining efforts of a smoke alarm installation, home safety surveys and inspections, and escape planning and fire drills, ACFR can maximize the safety gains, reduce incidences, and increase favorable outcomes. Monday’s fire is evidence of this. Visit /navpages.asp?info=release&ID=17996 to learn more about Project RISK.

“I’m proud of the results of Project RISK – a grant-supported program that enabled us to reach over 1,600 homes and install over 2,200 smoke alarms,” said Albemarle County Fire Chief, Dan Eggleston. “We might not be able to prevent every fire but we can prevent casualties and deaths that result from fires.”

Albemarle County Fire Rescue would like to remind everyone to test your smoke alarms monthly, replace smoke alarm batteries every six months, and replace smoke alarms that are ten years or older. If you are interested in having the department come out and install a free smoke alarm, call 434-296-5833.

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