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The Chattanooga Fire Department encourages everyone to change the batteries in their smoke alarms at least once each year.  An easy way to remember is to change these batteries when you change your clocks. It's time to do that this weekend. So, before you go to bed tonight, set your clocks forward one hour. And, protect yourself and your loved ones by putting fresh batteries in your smoke alarms. Some facts on smoke alarms are included below.

Facts on Smoke Alarms:

Smoke alarms are the residential fire safety success story of the past quarter century. Smoke alarm technology has been around since the 1960s. But the single-station, battery-powered smoke alarm we know today became available to consumers in the 1970s, and since then, the home fire death rate has been reduced by half. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that 94% of U.S. homes have at least one smoke alarm today, and most states have laws requiring them in residential dwellings.

Important: Working smoke alarms are essential in every household. It is necessary to practice home fire drills to be certain everyone is familiar with the smoke alarm signal, and to determine if there are any obstacles to a quick and safe evacuation (including the inability for some to awaken to the smoke alarm signal).

Facts & Figures

15 of every 16 homes (94%) in the U.S. have at least one smoke alarm. One-half of home fire deaths occur in the 6% of homes with no smoke alarms. Homes with smoke alarms (whether or not they are operational) typically have a death rate that is 40-50% less than the rate for homes without alarms. In three of every 10 reported fires in homes equipped with smoke alarms, the devices did not work. Households with non-working smoke alarms now outnumber those with no smoke alarms. Why do smoke alarms fail? Most often because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries.

Installation Tips

Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home (including the basement) and outside each sleeping area. If you sleep with the door closed, NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms inside the room. In new homes, smoke alarms are required in all sleeping rooms, according to the NFPA.  Mount the smoke alarms high on ceilings or walls – remember, smoke rises. Ceiling-mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling. On vaulted ceilings, be sure to mount the alarm at the highest point of the ceiling. Don't install smoke alarms near windows, outside doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation. Don't paint your smoke alarms; paint or other decorations could keep them from working when you most need it.

Maintenance Tips

Test smoke alarms at least once a month by using the alarm's "test button" or an approved smoke substitute, and clean the units in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms once a year, or as soon as the alarm "chirps," warning that the battery is low. Hint: schedule battery replacements for the same day you change your clock from daylight to standard time in the fall. Regularly vacuuming or dusting your smoke alarm following manufacturer's instructions can help keep it working properly. Replace your smoke alarms once every 10 years. Never "borrow" a battery from a smoke alarm. Make sure that everyone in your home can hear and recognize the sound of the alarm and knows how to react immediately. NFPA recommends that people with hearing impairments install smoke alarms with louder alarm signals and/or strobe lights to alert them to a fire. Be sure that the smoke alarm you buy carries the label of an independent testing lab. Alarms that are hard-wired to the home's electrical system should be installed by a qualified electrician.

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A small fire broke out tonight at the Wrigley plant at 3002 Jersey Pike.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 7:31 p.m. and responded to the scene with six fire companies.

Captain Chris Fryar, the incident commander, said there was a small fire in some machinery, but the fire was out when firefighters arrived on the scene. The building was evacuated as a precaution, and firefighters used high-powered fans to ventilate the building. Captain Fryar said the fire caused minimal damage to the building.

One employee at the plant complained of difficulty breathing and was eventually transported by Hamilton County EMS to Parkridge Medical Center for observation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Careless smoking appears to be the cause of this afternoon's fire at Mountain Creek Apartments that left dozens of residents homeless. The fire was discovered shortly before 3:00 this afternoon by maintenance workers with the apartment complex. They told firefighters that they saw smoke and flames coming from the balcony of an apartment on the third floor. They tried to put the fire out with portable fire extinguishers, but the flames were too intense, so they backed off and activated a pull alarm.

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded with six fire companies. As Quint 17 approached the complex at 936 Mountain Creek Road, they could see thick, black smoke rising from the complex, so a second alarm response was requested, which prompted 12 fire companies to respond.

Once on the scene, the firefighters made sure the entire building was evacuated. While some firefighters worked to get the blaze under control, others carried pet dogs, cats and birds out to their grateful owners. No injuries were reported among the residents, but two firefighters were transported by Hamilton County EMS to Erlanger Medical Center for symptoms related to heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Both were treated and released.

The flames had penetrated into the walls and roof, making it difficult for the firefighters to get the fire out. In an effort to prevent the flames from destroying the entire building, the firefighters used power saws to make a "trench cut" in the roof. The resulting hole in the roof allowed the firefighters access to the flames in the roof, enabling them to head off the flames and – in about an hour – get the blaze under control. It would take them another hour or two to put out most of the hot spots.

Lieutenant Andrew Waters with the Fire Investigation Division said improperly discarded cigarettes on or near the balcony of an apartment on the third floor was the likely cause of the fire. Lt. Waters said six apartment units had significant damage. He said two had substantial fire damage, two had water damage and two others had smoke damage. The rest of the apartment units were saved.

Since the wiring in the building was also damaged by the fire, electrical service had to be disconnected to the entire building, which meant up to 40 residents would have to find another place to stay. A team of volunteers with the American Red Cross responded to the scene to help the fire victims. They were planning to set up a temporary shelter if enough residents needed overnight accommodations.

Chattanooga police and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue also provided valuable assistance on the scene.

photo

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Fire Station 3 Opens In Lookout Valley

Construction of the Chattanooga Fire Department's newest fire station has been completed and firefighters will now be responding to emergencies in Lookout Valley and beyond.
At a brief grand opening ceremony this morning, Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield and Fire Chief Randy Parker symbolically dedicated the fire station by having Quint 3 drive through fire scene tape that is normally used on real fire scenes.

"I'm very pleased that we were able to provide such a nice fire station for these firefighters," said the mayor. "This facility is environmentally friendly and very energy-efficient, which is in keeping with our overall philosophy of being a green city." The mayor said the city is seeking LEED certification for the fire station. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was developed by the U.S. Building Council to establish standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

Chief Parker said that Station 3, located at 4003 Cummings Highway, will be staffed with 15 firefighters working on three shifts. It will also house Quint 3. A quint is a modern fire apparatus that provides a pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device and ground ladders.

Station 20, also located in Lookout Valley at 3003 Cummings Highway, will remain open and will house Squad 20. A squad truck is equipped not only for fire suppression, but also with specialized tools for vehicle extrication and other rescue situations.

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In the photo: (left to right) Deputy Chief Lamar Flint, Craig Peavy with River Street Architecture, Resource Chief Randy Jacks, Mayor Ron Littlefield, Council Members Deborah Scott and Manny Rico, City Judge Russell Bean, County Commissioner Joe Graham and Fire Chief Randy Parker.

Station 3 Fact Sheet
General Information:
• Construction began on June 30, 2011.
• Principal construction on the new station was completed on January 30, 2012.
• Station 3 cost approximately $1.5 million to build.
• Design: River Street Architecture, LLC
• General Contractor: Construction Consultants, Inc.
• Staffed with 15 firefighters, with 5 working each of the three shifts.
• Will house Quint 3. A Quint is a fire apparatus that serves the dual purpose of a traditional engine and ladder truck. The name quint is derived from the Latin prefix "quinque" meaning five, and refers to the five functions that a quint provides: pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device and ground ladders.
• Station 3's primary response district will be the Lookout Valley area (see attached map).
• This is the 19th fire station operated by the Chattanooga Fire Department.

Features of the new station:
• One-story, two-bay fire station.
• 6,725 square feet, includes accommodations for two fire companies, training room and offices.
• A "green" building in design and energy efficiency. Seeking LEED certification. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was developed by the U.S. Building Council to establish standards for environmentally sustainable construction.
• Heat reflective paving and roofing.
• The building and surrounding site has a storm-water runoff system that features a water retention area with native vegetation.
• High-efficiency heating/cooling system.
• Building orientation and windows maximize natural light on the interior.
• High thermal efficiency insulation and windows.
• Durable, low-maintenance materials used throughout that are low-to-zero VOC off-gassing.
• High-efficiency plumbing and light fixtures with occupancy and daylight sensors. Low maintenance floors.

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Fire Administration
910 Wisdom Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37406
(423) 643-5600
(423) 643-5610 (fax)

Fire Prevention Bureau
910 Wisdom Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37406
(423) 643-5618
(423) 643-5611 (fax)

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