Safety first: Yarmouth chief issues plea to check smoke, carbon monoxide detectors

Jen Ouellette

After two recent fires in Yarmouth, fire officials are asking homeowners to test their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

No one was injured in either fire, but Yarmouth Fire Chief Michael Walker is hoping to prevent more tragedy.

“We’ve had two separate house fires, both of which involved young families and both had absolutely no smoke detectors or any carbon monoxide detectors,” Walker said Monday.

The first fire occurred Dec. 8 on Carter Road in South Yarmouth in a home where two children live. The second fire happened Sunday, Dec. 13, on Aspinet Road, also in South Yarmouth. The Aspinet Road home is a two-family duplex with one child in each of the two units.

“If we have two cases in a week, it’s likely it’s systemic,” said Walker. He encouraged everyone to purchase smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if your home doesn’t have them, and test that they are operating correctly if you do.

Walker said for most units, testing is done by pressing the “test” button labeled on the device. If it is working properly, a beep will sound to alert the owner it is in working order. If it has a low battery or is not functioning properly, Walker said the device will make a sound that is usually quite different.

“Either way, if in doubt, call the fire department and we will come out and check it or tell you what to get if it isn’t working properly. It’s that important to us,” Walker said.

Not being informed and prepared could lead to disaster, Walker said.

“Living in conditions where you don’t have a smoke detector and you don’t have a safe way out of the building, people become trapped, disoriented and die. The whole reasoning behind a smoke detector is to alert people early.

“Besides the smoke detectors, please be safe with candles, ornaments and any type of decorations," he added. "Please dispose of your Christmas tree right after Christmas to prevent any fire hazards. And if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call the fire department.”

The Register