EPFD reminds residents of safety tips, tools

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 7:32pm

The El Paso Fire Department is reminding residents of some safety tips which can keep your family safe. A home fire safety survey can also save you money because some insurance companies may cut you a little bit of a break if you opt in for this free service.

We asked some El Paso residents how often they check their smoke detectors. “Every year,” Connie Banuelos of Central El Paso replied.

"I'm not sure how often my Mom does it,” Grizelle Cisneros who was visiting family explained.

Some people are in the dark when it comes to fire safety. Monday, Fire Inspector Mike Ortiz took us through a home in Central El Paso -- where he was conducting a fire safety survey. "Smoke detectors are probably the best assurance of getting out of a fire safely." Fire Inspector Mike Ortiz of EPFD said.

He points out multiple hazards in the home. The best and cheapest way to protect yourself are smoke detectors. A device which can stir you in the middle of a dream. "It is meant to be obnoxious, absolutely!,” David Appleby, West El Paso exclaimed.

"Fire code says there should be a smoke alarm in every sleeping room,” Ortiz said. Checking a smoke detector once a month and changing the battery once a year is a habit the inspector says everyone should adapt to. "All one has to do is press the little button right here, the chirps, it's working."

The department is also giving away 3,000 smoke detectors to those who may not be able to afford one. "If the home or apartment has two floors make sure you have a smoke alarm on the ground floor and on the second floor,” the Fire Inspector told us.

A survey is not an inspection. Meaning, you’re not legally required to make the changes and if you're shy about allowing an inspector into your home: a smoke detector, a safety survey and a fire escape planning sheet are tools the fire department can provide. "Those are three things that will reduce the likelihood of a fire greatly." Tools which can shed some light on fire safety.

The El Paso Fire Department provides free home fire safety surveys. To contact them call 915-485-5699 or visit their website: http://home.elpasotexas.gov/fire-department/#


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