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Fire officials urge use of smoke detectors

August 31, 2010|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

SOUTH GLENDALE — Two recent house fires have raised concerns among Glendale fire officials after they discovered both homes weren't equipped with smoke detectors.

Firefighters last week found that smoke detectors were not installed inside the homes on Salem and Everett streets that sustained extensive fire damage, Glendale Fire Capt. Stuart Stefani said.

The discovery has some fire officials concerned that Glendale residents aren't taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their homes.

"These two [fires] were a really good wake up call for us to evaluate some of the needs that our community may be facing," said Tanya Gregorian, the Fire Department's public education coordinator.

The two house fires may also be a greater indicator that more homes and small housing units in the community are not equipped with smoke detectors, she said.

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"That's what my fear is and it appears there are," Gregorian said.

Thursday's kitchen blaze at the two-story triplex on the 400 block of North Everett Street displaced nine residents, Stefani said. And while the residents safely escaped the home, fire crews discovered no smoke detectors inside, he said.

Stefani said Friday that the fire should be a reminder to residents to check or install smoke detectors in their homes.

With fire prevention week in October and its focus being on smoke alarms, Glendale fire officials said they plan to use that time to educate residents.

Glendale firefighters are working on plans to team up with Home Depot to conduct a workshop on smoke detectors for residents and possibly get a free device for attending, Gregorian said.

"It's about education, and it's about accessibility, so people need to know that a small device such as a smoke detector could really save their life," she said.

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