FIRE SAFETY: Fire officials came together to spread fire safety awareness

Fire officials around the state are urging Mainers to check their homes after three tragic fires last week.
Fire officials around the state are urging Mainers to check their homes after three tragic...
Fire officials around the state are urging Mainers to check their homes after three tragic fires last week.
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 10:44 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Making sure our homes are as safe as possible.

Fire officials around the state are urging Mainers to check their homes after three tragic fires last week.

They came together in Augusta Thursday to talk about the importance of fire prevention.

”Just basic fire safety is all we’re asking you to do with your families at home,” said Lincoln Fire Chief Les Brown.

That’s the message from fire officials still reeling from three fires that four people died in last week. The state fire marshal stressed the need for people to make sure their homes - and the homes of their elderly family members and neighbors - are safe.

“The science of fire has changed. The time that you’ve got to get out of that home when you have a fire in there is considerably smaller now than it ever was,” said Maine State Fire Marshal Joseph Thomas.

One of the heartbreaking fires was in Camden where a 14-year-old boy died where he was sleeping. Two others were injured.

“One are the things that we’re looking at as a cause of the fire in Camden is how appliances are are installed. So, we ask that you follow manufacturer’s recommendations,” said Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley.

“Make sure your extension cords are cleaned up that you don’t have a bunch of them running under rugs,” said Chief Brown.

And, check to make sure you have working smoke detectors, which was not the case In Farmington where a couple died after a fire in their home.

“I am quite sure if we’d had working smoke detectors the people would have at least had a better chance to try to get out. Unfortunately, neither one, you know, survived, but I think people need to check those smoke detectors,” said Farmington FIre Chief Terry Bell.

Just days earlier, the Lincoln community was hit hard after a 7-year-old girl trapped in her home also died.

“I just ask you to sit down with your families at night and talk about two ways out of the house. So no matter where the fire is in a house, they have two ways to escape to tragedy,” said Chief Brown.

“If you have any questions about how to install something, call your fire department, call your local code enforcement officer a building official. We’re all there to be a resource for you, and to help you answer questions and get get you down the right path to do things the right way,” said Chief Farley.

Midcoast fire chiefs have come together this week and have a new initiative.

They’re reminding the public all fire stations are ready to help people make their homes safe with working equipment, exit drills, and more.

Camden, Rockland and Rockport Home Safety Initiative Earlier this week Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley, Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock and Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley met to discuss ways to increase public awareness about fire prevention efforts in our community.

We are collectively saddened by the recent fires throughout Maine that resulted in the loss of four people, one of whom was a member of our local community. As we mourn these losses, we need to remember that it is up to every one of us to prevent these types of events from happening again.

The best way we can do this is to make sure that our homes are as safe as possible. For all of us, this means making sure we have working smoke alarms on every level of our home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area, smoke alarm maintenance and interconnection.

It also means we should have carbon monoxide alarms on every floor of our home, outside of sleeping areas, and around carbon monoxide producing appliances. Lastly, it means taking the time to make sure things like overloaded extension cords, flammable liquids and excess clutter around heat sources are removed. For your Fire Departments, making sure these events do not happen again means helping you make your homes as safe as possible.

This can be through answering questions, providing resources, or helping you install the right alarms in the right places. The Fire Departments in Camden, Rockland and Rockport are joined together and committed to providing our community with the resources you need to prevent fires in the home.

Our Firefighters are ready to come to your home to assist you. We are at our fire stations to meet with you, provide guidance or provide smoke detectors.

Here’s there full statement:

Our ‘Home Safety Initiative’ is here for your benefit. In this initiative, we encourage you to contact your local Fire Department if you need any of the following:

• Smoke/CO alarm placement guidance

• Smoke/CO alarm placement installation

• Home safety surveys – looking for life safety issues in your home

• Smoke and CO detectors for those who cannot afford them

• Help with Exit Drills in the Home planning

• Answers to any other questions about home safety concerns We have received a sizeable donation from the Camden Rotary Foundation to pursue this.

However, to ensure this service remains available to those in need, any donations, from citizens or businesses, can be made to the non-profit, tax-deductible: Pacific Engine Company PO Box 142 Rockport, Maine 04856 Attention: Home Safety Campaign

Call us to arrange help with smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and home safety surveys. Thank you for your help in keeping our communities safe.

Camden Fire Department: 207-236-7950 Rockland Fire Department: 207-594-0318 Rockport Fire Department: 207-236-4437

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