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Springfield Citizens Encouraged to Sign up for Free Home Fire Safety Check

Scott Harvey

The Springfield Fire Department will ensure you have working smoke alarms and your fire extinguisher is properly in place, among other safety precautions, as part of its home safety survey campaign.

It’s asking citizens to sign up for the free safety survey so it can check for common fire hazards. The goal is to survey 200 Springfield homes this year.  

The department will also partner with Springfield Public Schools to conduct surveys in the homes of Parents as Teachers participants.

"These surveys are invaluable because the information learned during the visit doesn't stay with the home, it remains with the residents." said Assistant Chief of Prevention Randy Villines. "These are fire safety lessons that will truly have a lasting impact."

Nearly 80 percent of all fatal fires in Springfield occur in homes, with causes ranging from careless smoking to unsafe cooking. Officials say most of these home fires are caused by human behaviors and are preventable.

The department analyzed data from 2003-2013 that showed in all fatal house fires during that span, just 16 percent had working smoke alarms.

In addition to checking smoke alarms and fire extinguisher placement, firefighters will look to see if there’s adequate airspace around electronics, and inspect electrical outlet use and conditions of stoves and ovens.

Fire and Life Safety Education Cara Erwin says that six home surveys were conducted last year, and two so far this year. The most common issues officials found, she says, are defective smoke alarms, overloaded outlets, and dirty lint traps. One of the biggest benefits of the survey, Erwin adds, is that it offers a personalized experience for the homeowner in which fire safety tips and infrastructure can be tailored to a home’s specific layout.  

The department says these surveys are ideal for young people living on their own for the first time, new parents, and seniors.

Read more about the Springfield Fire Department’s Home Safety Survey’s or sign up for a free home safety survey.

Scott joined KSMU in November 2012. He had previously served five years as news director for KETR-FM, the public radio station in Commerce, Texas. A graduate of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Scott enjoys producing human-interest stories, among other pieces that educate and engage the community. When not at work, he’s often taking part in outdoor activities, exploring new areas and restaurants, or staying up-to-date with the latest news and information. Scott was born and raised in Shenandoah, Iowa.