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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Rash of fire deaths are preventable

The State Fire Marshall is reacting with concern regarding a rash of deaths from house fires. The Copper Country has not been spared. Already in 2022, five have perished thanks to blazes that broke out in their residence within Houghton County alone.

Stanton Township Fire’s Jon Stone says the incidents are preventable, namely with smoke detectors.

53 percent of the homes that have these fires do not have an active, operating smoke alarm.

Almost every department in the Copper Country makes it easy to get a smoke detector. Stone says that Stanton Fire has received a grant to install smart alarms. They can connect with homeowners via wifi, even when they are at work or engaged in a weekend activity as a blaze breaks out. He says that fires double in size in under a minute when they first ignite, and a quick response is the surest way for local departments to save the structure.

Stone says the grant requires installation by experts, so homeowners can be sure that the monitors are working correctly, that they’re placed in the right spots within the house, and there are enough of them.

The grant program, on the state side or the local side, says we have to install. We just can’t hand a homeowner a smoke detector and hope that they install it. We actually have to install it, and document that it was installed correctly.

Stone says it is rare to see five people die in a fire over an entire year in Houghton County, and he notes the area is on a record-setting pace.

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