Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

April 9, 2014

Neighborhood Watch helps residents live safer


CROSSVILLE — The 2014 Spring Meeting of the Fairfield Glade Neighborhood Watch Coalition was held on March 13. There were more than 100 residents in attendance. If you were not able to attend this key meeting, below is a summary of the information shared.

After a brief update on the Fairfield Glade Neighborhood Watch Organization, the key session topic, "Preparedness." Home Design Safety was also addressed.  

Paul Perry, ASHI certified and certified residential building inspector spoke on the subject of home safety and gave a detailed discussion (with visuals) which include the importance of identifying the address of your home for first responders, elimination of trip hazards due to ill constructed heights of steps, installation of proper railings that can be grabbed easily, having a secondary escape route in an emergency, having an escape plan, making sure windows open easily if you need to escape, and not panicking.   

Frank Miller, Cumberland Home Improvement and president of Home Builders Association of Cumberland County, talked about shelters to protect you in weather disasters, which can be built right in your home. Some features of the shelters include: bullet proof material, vault type door for security, communication capability for cell phone or radio, security for storing valuables, and can even double as a useful pantry, office or other room. Shelters are built to allow very quick access from inside the home.

Bobby Smith, Fairfield Glade Fire Department, fire prevention officer, and former Cincinnati firefighter for more than 35 years, addressed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke detectors saved 50 lives last year from fires in Tennessee. Data indicates smoke detectors increase your survival rate by 50 percent from dying from a fire. Smoke detectors should be placed one on each floor, one in each bedroom and one just outside of the bedroom such as a hallway. Detectors should be placed so a ceiling fan or vent does not divert the smoke away from the detector. Placement should be between 4 inches down from the ceiling but not more than 12 inches down. As a precaution, place a smoke detector in the garage and crawl space. The Fairfield Glade Fire Department has installed 398 smoke detectors in 160 homes, through the benefit of grants.
Maintain your smoke detector regularly by changing the battery at least once per year. Dust can clog your detectors so gently cleaning with a vacuum hose is a good idea. Do not take detectors apart to clean which could damage the mechanisms. If your detector “chirps” then you need to change the battery. Do not paint your smoke detector. Wired detectors have batteries also and they need to be changed at least once per year.
Types of smoke detectors are ionization and photo electric. Either type can do the job. Dual alarms, ionization and photo electric, are also available. For the hearing impaired there are vibrating and strobe light detectors. If you need help, Bobby Smith, FGFD, will be happy to assist you.
 If you are using propane gas, natural gas, or wood burning units in your home you should have a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is the same weight as air so the detector can be placed high or low. Dual carbon monoxide/smoke detectors are available.

The next FGNWC meeting is June 12. The topic is Personal Planning & Safety. Hope to see you there.