Smoke Alarms save lives when properly placed (near or in bedrooms) and maintained (batteries changed when needed) and tested monthly. A recent house fire in New York City claimed the lives of seven children, aged five to 15 years old. A mother and daughter were the only survivors. The fire started on the first floor of a two-story home and there were no smoke alarms found on the first or second floor. PLEASE test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure the alarm is working and as a reminder of what the alarm sounds like. If you are elderly or have an elderly person in your home contact the Madison Senior Citizens Center (973-4241) and let them know that you need a smoke alarm. Madison Fire Rescue has smoke alarms that we can give to and install for persons over 55 years old. The Madison Fire Rescue Department responded to a tragic house fire in March 1998 where five people to include a pregnant mother and four children were killed and no smoke alarms were found in the home. There have been other fatal fires that have occurred in Madison County but that fire was the worst because of the number of children. Fatal fires are devastating to the family involved and also to the responders. Smoke contains carbon monoxide and other toxins and can kill you in your sleep! Keep your bedroom doors closed while sleeping! This may provide more time to escape or wait for rescue! Smoke alarms are designed to wake and alert you in the event of a fire! Please test your smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries when needed. Have at least one smoke alarm on each floor and near the bedroom area(s). Have a fire escape plan and teach children what to do when the alarm sounds (practice your plan at least twice a year). Call 911 after you and your family get out of the home and never go back inside a house that is on fire. Any questions about fire safety? Please contact your local fire department or call the numbers below. Please feel free to call (850) 973-5075 with any questions you may have about smoke alarms or to request assistance with any existing smoke alarms that you have in your home. Any group(s) that would like to have someone come out and speak about smoke alarms or any other fire safety topics, please contact Chief Bruce Jordan (850) 253-5117 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.