Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Disabled Smoke Detector No Help to Resident

Winter Gardens - A shorted electrical circuit in the kitchen ignited wood framing and paneling within the wall of a home in the 12500 block of Royal Road on October 11, 2010. The concealed fire created a large volume of smoke which spread throughout the home, eventually getting the attention of the occupant. Firefighters from Lakeside's Riverview (fs1) and Lake Jennings (fs3) fire stations responded to the afternoon incident. Crews used a thermal imaging camera to locate the hot spot in the wall, allowing them to open it up and extinguish the small fire.

While clearing the remaining smoke from the residence, firefighters discovered that the smoke alarm in the hallway had been disabled by the removal of the battery. This is an all-too-common scenario in residences. For one reason or another, residents remove a battery from a smoke alarm and forget to replace it. Unfortunately, this can have tragic consequences. A properly functioning smoke alarm is the best protection for the early detection of a house fire, giving occupants time to escape.


Install smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside all sleeping areas, and on every level of your home.

Test Smoke Alarms once a month.

Replace batteries in smoke alarms twice a year.

Regularly dust or vacuum smoke alarms to keep them working properly.

Do not disable smoke alarms, even temporarily.

For best protection, use both photoelectric and ionization technology.

Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.

Have a home fire escape plan. Practice it twice a year.

When the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.

Firefighters open up the wall.

Fire in the wall.

Units attending this incident included E1, E3, M1, and B1 from Lakeside. E8 and E9 from El Cajon also assisted.

Story by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District
Photos by: Captain Wes Barnes, Lakeside Fire District

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