(Beaver Dam) The Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association has set a goal of no more fire deaths for the rest of the year. With two weeks to go there have been 53 fire fatalities, compared to 40 in all of 2021. There were five deaths in two separate fires on December 9th.
Three children died in a blaze in Watertown and two lives were claimed by a fire in La Crosse. There were 52 fire-related deaths in 2020. The Association adds that there has been a slowly growing upward trend of civilian home fire deaths across the nation. Two people died in a mobile home fire in Janesville Friday.
They encourage everyone to install smoke alarms inside and outside each sleeping area and test them regularly. A sentiment echoed by Beaver Dam Fire Chief Michael Wesle.
“We always tell everybody twice a year to check those smoke detectors…if you are going to be having a fire in your fireplace or if you have any sort of open burning in the house or any wood burning, we just like to reminder everybody to check those smoke detectors,” says Wesle. “Check those batteries, make sure everything is running properly. Biggest thing you can do to prevent accidents in the home and deaths because of a fire in your home comes back to those smoke detectors.”
Wesle says the chances of making it out of a house fire increase ten-fold if there is a working smoking detector installed.
Other fire safety tips include sleeping with the bedroom doors closed to prevent the spread of smoke and flames. Stay in the kitchen when cooking or baking as well as develop and practice an escape plan. Fire officials add that without a home sprinkler system, fires can become deadly in as little as two minutes.