Four children tragically lost their lives in a Conyers fire on Jan. 8. Despite a quick response from first responders the home was fully engulfed in flames when emergency personnel arrived. Courageous rescue efforts were made but sadly the children aged 9, 7, 3 and eight months did not survive the terrible blaze. The children’s mother desperately tried to save her children but was burned severely and was only able to rescue her 6-year-old son.
Reports show that the home did not have working smoke detectors according to fire officials. In a similarly devastating story, a man and his four children aged 5, 4, 2 and 6 months perished in a fire in Pike County, KY, on the same night. These tragedies unfortunately happen far too often, with fire claiming an average of nine lives every day in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Fire does not discriminate and can strike at any time and in any type of home, but working smoke detectors and fire sprinklers can help to avoid potential injuries and tragedies from occurring. Properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers control and typically extinguish a fire before the fire department even arrives on the scene. More importantly, the presence of fire sprinklers mitigates the risk to individuals affected by the blaze, including firefighters and other first responders.
I urge you to check the batteries in your smoke alarms, educate yourself on the current fire protection requirements in your own city and state, and learn how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from the ravages of fire. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their family during this tragedy.
Russell Fleming, President, National Fire Sprinkler Association