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Davenport Fire Department Offers Free Smoke Alarms And Stresses Fire Safety

Davenport Fire Station
Davenport Fire Station

This week is Fire Prevention Week, recognizing the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The Davenport Fire Department is educating the public on the Sounds of Fire Safety.

Lieutenant Fire Marshal Zach Soliz is the Public Education Officer for the Davenport Fire Department. He says it's crucial understanding the difference between a chirp and a beep coming from your smoke alarm.

"So if you hear a chirp—it's usually going to happen once a minute, once every thirty—and it's going to notify you the battery needs to be replaced in your smoke alarm. Now, if you hear a beep—and it's typically three long beeps—that's an actual fire alarm. That's saying 'there's smoke in the area.' You need to exercise your fire escape plan and get out of the house."

Soliz says that if you hear a beep, you need to treat the situation as a real fire; exit the building and call 911.

Above all, speed is the most important factor in fire safety: the Davenport Fire Department has an average response time of 3 minutes, but early notification mean the difference between extinguishing a small fire and dealing with an emergency rescue mission.

Last year, the Davenport Fire Department received 17,000 calls for service--about 45 calls a day.

"We stay busy. it's not just fires—it's medical calls, it's car accidents, investigations, HAZMAT situations...It's not just fire-fighting any more."

Other important fire safety tools include being aware of multiple possible exits, and closing doors between rooms to prevent fire and smoke from spreading.

If a home doesn't already have a smoke alarm, the Davenport Fire Department is offering to provide and install one for free.

Aaryan Balu first set foot in audio journalism at WTJU Charlottesville and WRIR Richmond, and now works as WVIK Quad Cities NPR's Fellowship Host.