Lexington Fire - A Call For Vigilance

Lexington Fire Tragedy – A call for vigilance

As reported in the Boston Globe 09/14/2008
LEXINGTON - A deadly fire that smoldered for hours while Gena Brown and her two daughters slept Friday night probably started in a dryer vent, according to state fire officials. The blaze killed Brown shortly before dawn after she shouted a warning to her girls to flee.

With fall upon us, now is the time for us to check on some of the safety items in our homes. Cleaning the dryer vent hoses is something that must not be forgotten. A cleaning brush can be purchased at most home improvement centers; an example of this is http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2893251 just one of dozens I found in a recent Google search. If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning the duct/hose yourself, companies such as Sears and Service Magic as well as many duct/ventilation companies offer services to clean them for you. As with any contractor around the house, you should research them and solicit multiple bids for a job to make sure you’re getting the most accurate & qualified job/price.

While we’re at it, check those smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. The usual suggestion of checking them twice a year when the clocks change still holds true. Become familiar with their operation and warnings by reading their instruction manuals. Also think about consulting with your local fire department if you’re unsure of placement or adequate coverage. Fire departments would rather come out for this type of call than for a fire.

Another item to check on and/or purchase is a home fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers need routine maintenance. Check to make sure your home has the right amount and type for your property. Also check that they’re accessible, remember it’s always when you’re in a panic when you’ll be looking for it.

If you have children residing in or visiting your property, create a safety plan for your home, including escape routes and a meeting place in case of an emergency. Make sure children know how to get out of every room in the house and how to operate doors and windows if age appropriate. A great starting point can be found at http://www.ehow.com/how_13165_make-fire-safety.html , you can Google for more results or contact your local fire department/public safety office for more detailed instructions.

Hopefully every day is fire-safety day and a tragedy like the above story won’t happen to you or the ones you love.


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