EAST BEND — Members of the Forbush Fire Department will be canvassing the community on Saturday to locate homes in need of smoke alarms. The canvass is part of a statewide effort initiated by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
“This year has been one of the deadliest years for fire fatalities in North Carolina,” Forbush Deputy Fire Chief Barry McLean said.
As of June 19, there have been 90 fire fatalities in the state, McLean said.
In the past two years, McLean said they had installed around 280 smoke alarms for people in the Forbush community. McLean said that they hope to install even more during this weekend’s canvass. He also noted that anyone in need of a smoke alarm can contact the Forbush Volunteer Fire Department or their local fire department.
More than 90 fire departments in North Carolina will be taking part in the canvass on Saturday. Courtney Fire Department will also be among the Yadkin County fire departments participating.
McLean said there is a home fire in the United States about every 86 seconds. Fire fatalities are also most likely to occur in the overnight hours, hence why smoke alarms are so important.
Kitchen fires are also a common cause of home fires, McLean said. He advised that people also have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for this reason and to always pay close attention when cooking and never leave cooking food unattended. He cautioned, particularly for the summer months when children are out of school, to make sure that any children who may using the stove or other cooking equipment are able to safely do so. He said children are often injured when trying to cook for themselves.
McLean said his department also works closely with elderly people in the community with their Fire and Fall Prevention Program. Members of the fire department will come to a home and evaluate for safety issues, McLean said. He said older people often don’t want to ask for help but they can be at greater risk for injury to due to falls.
For more information, visit the Forbush Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page or website www.forbushvfd.com or call 336-961-8376.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.