No excuse not to be prepared with fire alarms

This week firefighters and fire departments are urging everyone to check their smoke alarms, and if they don’t have any, to get some, pronto.

Checking the alarms is a task we often put off. We don’t imagine that we will ever really be the ones in danger.

And yet, with the fall and winter seasons coming on, we at the Citizen know we will be heading out to more fire scenes.

While the summer and the drought that turned everything tinder dry is over, and with it comes the reduction in the incidents of bush and grass fires, we now must turn our attention to our homes.

As people start to turn on their heat and lay fires in their fireplaces there is always a rise in the number of chimney fire and structure fire call-outs.

The frustrating thing is that most of them are preventable.

We all know we should get our chimneys inspected, but how many people actually do it as often as they should?

For many, it is one of those expenses that can be put off. After all, it’s only been a matter of months since you last used it.

It must still be in good working order, right?

It’s even easier to take a few minutes – and that’s all it takes, a few minutes – and make sure your alarms will indeed notify you in the event of a blaze.

You would rather have the startling experience of having the alarm go off while you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner, than to have the experience of it not going off and having a lot less to be thankful for all of a sudden as a result.

The most dangerous time is at night. At night you and your family are likely to be asleep and are unlikely to catch early signs your home is on fire by yourselves. You’re unlikely to see or smell the smoke and flames.

In the worst case scenario, fire victims never do wake up at all.

But if you have a working fire alarm, we guarantee there is no way even the deepest sleeper will remain in dreamland while it blares its warning.

There are even programs where people can get free alarms from the local fire departments if they can’t afford to buy them for themselves.

There’s no good excuse not to be prepared.