Firefighters say that smoke detectors and good building materials saved the lives of a Smyrna family after an explosion on November 3, 2015. A fire broke out in the family home on Haven Park Circle after an explosion in the garage.

Awakened by Fire Alarm
According to Billy Chen, the homeowner, he awoke when the fire alarms in his home began sounding. He, his wife and his daughter were able to escape the home. Although the fire was contained in the garage, the family lost a vehicle and two motorcycles in the blaze. Firefighters believe a burning cigarette was tossed into a recycling bin inside the garage which ignited combustible items. The garage was damaged extensively.

Cobb County Fire Facts
Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services reports that fire occurs in a home in the United States every 80 seconds and that every 34 minutes a civilian is injured by fire in their home. In 1975, the time to escape a flaming fire was 17 minutes. In 2003, that time had been reduced to around three minutes due to modern furnishing found in the home. A working smoke detector increases your chances of surviving a fire by 50 percent.

Testing Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors should be tested monthly to be sure they are operating properly. Smoke detectors that are more than ten years old should be replaced as there is a 30 percent risk of failure in older detectors. One tip is to change the batteries in all smoke detectors twice each year, once when clocks are set forward and once when they are set back for Daylight Savings Time. In addition, smoke detectors should be installed on each level of the home and in every sleeping area. At least one smoke detector on each floor should be wired to electricity and include a battery backup should there be a power failure.

Different Types of Detectors
There are two types of smoke detectors available on the market today. Photoelectric smoke detectors can detect a smoldering fire, while ionization smoke detectors recognize flaming fire. Firefighters recommend installing both types of detectors throughout the home or purchase one that provides combination detection.

Sprinkler Systems
In addition to smoke detectors, installing a residential sprinkler system is another way to protect your home and family from fire. There is usually no need to install a separate water system as most residential systems tie into the cold water plumbing supply that already exists in the home. Home sprinkler systems activate within one minute or less of detecting a fire and only the affected head operates to extinguish flame. In homes with sprinkler systems, 90 percent of fires are contained when just one sprinkler head activates. Because sprinklers put fires out so quickly, deadly carbon monoxide gas is not produced, which is the primary cause of death in fires. Sprinklers also contain damage to one small area or room, so the majority of the home is protected from smoke and water damage. When both sprinkler systems and smoke detectors are installed, the risk of death is reduced to 82 percent.

Waggoner Insurance can provide all your insurance needs, including homeowner, vehicle, life and health insurance. Contact them today to learn how they can help protect you and your family.

CBS 46
Cobb County