Philadelphia officials urge residents to make sure smoke detectors work in wake of tragic Fairmount fire – Greeley Tribune

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A devastating fire has killed 12 people, including nine children, in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. During the latest briefing on fires, leaders emphasized how important it is to have a smoke detector working in your home.

Officials say the Fire Department’s community action team calls for smoke detectors every time a tragedy like a fire occurs at Fairmount, but they say it’s everyone’s responsibility to fight the fire.

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“Before an incident, it’s very common for people not to think about a fire emergency,” said Gus Baumann, chief of the Philadelphia Division of Fire Prevention.

But a fire emergency is all that community action teams think about. CAT, as they are commonly known, is a division within the Philadelphia Fire Department. They respond to fire emergencies every day, but they also work to prevent fires.

“We love to do that, but what is it that someone will always call us and we love it,” Baumann said. “We don’t mind. We’re coming out.”

Bauman is the battalion chief of cat teams. You can call 311 and one of them will come out to install a 10-year lithium battery smoke detector. The teams have about 2,000 smoke detectors, but they are working to clear a backlog. Now the waiting list is almost two months long.

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“What we find is what happens as quickly as we go through a list that keeps on growing,” Baumann said.

There are three different CAT teams across the city. Their smoke detector program is for people who have their own home. If you rent, you should contact your landlord to have a smoke detector installed. If they don’t answer, then Call 311 to register a complaint,

Bowman says now is the time to think about fire.

“Our smoke detectors are one device we use, but we always encourage residents to create a home escape plan for every room in the house for every member of the household,” Baumann said.

Baumann also strongly suggests replacing the battery immediately if your detector starts beeping. There were smoke detectors in the Fairmount home, however, investigators say all were disabled except one.

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For more information about CAT’s smoke detector program, click here,