Fire safety: the right detector and extinguisher could make all - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fire safety: the right detector and extinguisher could make all the difference

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In case of a fire, you have 120 seconds to get out alive. That's according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Unfortunately, Fire kills more Americans than all natural disasters combined.

"The first thing we like residents to remember is to make sure they have a properly working smoke detector," said Columbus Fire Marshal Ricky Shores.

Shores said a smoke detector played a key role in helping save lives Monday morning when an unoccupied apartment at Willow Creek caught on fire on Buena Vista Rd., alerting the neighbors.

"Obviously if that smoke detector hadn't have been present and going off, then it would have been late knowledge, and much more well advanced, and put more lives in danger."

However, according to the experts, not all smoke detectors will sound off as quickly as needed. For the best results, the fire safety industry recommends a smoke detector with dual sensors.

"There are new detectors that have both technologies in them. An Ionizing detector will pick up a fast moving fire and a photoelectric detector will sense a smoldering fire."

Fire extinguishers are another safety tool that everyone should have, but not just any fire extinguisher will do. Shores suggests a device with an ABC rating.

"ABC refers to the classification of the fire type that the extinguisher is able to extinguish. So ‘A' stands for ordinary combustibles, ‘B' stands for flammable liquids, and ‘C' just means an extinguisher that can withstand electrical outlets." 

Another tip includes a fire extinguisher with a pressure gauge to help ensure it is working properly and is not leaking.

Inside your home, avoid blocking your windows with furniture. The window could be a good way to get out of a burning home. Do not bolt down your window locks, and always keep hallways clear to make for an easier escape route.

This is the time of the year when live Christmas trees will be in high demand. Firefighters say make sure it stays moist, and doesn't dry out to prevent it from igniting. Also, they recommend checking the lights, and when purchasing new ones, to look for the United Laboratories "UL" seal on the back indicating the lights have been checked by a third party.

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