The Statesboro Fire Department doesn’t just extinguish fires, it also offers services that help protect residents before disaster strikes.
“Two ways we work toward these goals is through our ‘Smoke Detector Installation Program’ and our ‘Home Fire Safety Surveys,’ ” Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said.
The most common cause of fire death is not from the fire itself, but from toxic smoke and gases.
“This killer often renders its victims unconscious and unable to react, especially during the sleeping hours,” Turner said.
The best way to prevent death is for people to equip their homes with smoke alarms and know how to activate them.
“Smoke alarms are effective, but only if residents know how to respond to the noise of a smoke alarm,” Turner said.
It is especially important for children to practice. They practice drills at school every month, but rarely at home.
“Fires are more likely to happen in the home, and 80 percent of all fire deaths occur there,” Turner said.
Because of this, the fire department’s goal is to ensure every home has a working smoke alarm, which increases the chances of survival.
Firefighters can provide smoke detectors to Statesboro residents for free.
“The Statesboro Fire Department will come assess your home and place a smoke detector where it is needed,” Turner said.
Every year, many home fires that occur can be prevented by simple and routine fire safety practices. The fire department’s free service includes consultation regarding emergency escape planning, smoke and carbon monoxide detector placement and testing, and identification of home hazards.
Statesboro firefighters also will conduct “pre-fire incident plans” again, Turner said.
A pre-fire incident plan is a “systematic method of gathering and recording facts for the purpose of problem identification and analysis and information retrieval,” he said. “These plans are not inspections of your business or occupancy, but they are to help firefighters gain better knowledge of your building in the event of an emergency.”
Firefighters must practice and “learn plays” like football players do and use pre-fire incident planning as practice and preparation.
“They look at everything in your building that could possibly cause a danger for firefighters or the public in an emergency,” Turner said. “They take what systems are in place and formulate a strategic plan in case the unthinkable was to ever happen in your building.”
Firefighters soon will call businesses to schedule appointments for the pre-fire incident planning.
“The plans are not intended to interrupt the business, so we will work with the building owners to schedule a time that would least likely hinder business operations,” Turner said. “The plans are free and are only for our benefit as firefighters as well as the building owner and occupants.”
Anyone interested in these services should contact the Statesboro Fire Department at (912) 764-3473 to schedule an appointment.