Local News

Fire Inspectors Offer Free Safety Inspections

Posted November 13, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Most people don't realize fire departments will inspect your home for no charge. In Fayetteville, only a handful of inspections have been done in the last two years. Although they can't force people to fix the problems they find, they almost always find something that could make a home safer.

Home sweet home. The Walkers feel safe there. But like many homes, it has hidden dangers Richard and his wife, Paige, didn't know were there. The fire department came into their home and did what's known as a courtesy inspection, looking for any type of fire hazard.

Extension cords are a common hazard. Officials recommend trading in extension cords for surge protectors.

Inspections are free, but few people take advantage of them. The inspection on the Walker home was only the third one Fayetteville firefigher Roger Sullivan has performed in five years. Each inspection he's done has yielded helpful tips.

Sullivan says people often overlook the small things like having windows that open easily, or getting their fireplaces cleaned out before each winter. Many even overlook the smoke detectors.

Even thought the Walker's home was relatively safe, the things they learned from the inspection will make it even safer.

There are plenty of simple ways to make your home safer, especially if you have a gas fireplace or heater in your home. Firefighters say you should have a carbon monoxide detector, even if you have to mount it next to your smoke detector.

They also say few people have a written evacuation plan. That's especially important for families with children.

Photographer:Mike Joyner