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Firefighters urge attention to smoke alarms

We've all been there and done that: something in the oven or in the stove gets just a little too hot. The smoke detector in the kitchen goes off. Sometimes you can just open a window and wave away the smoke, but sometimes pulling out the battery works just as well, right?

Well, yes and no. It works to stop the detector's noise at the time, but far too many people forget to put that battery back in, and that can be dangerous, according to Farmington fire marshal John Powers.

That's why the theme for the 2010 Fire Prevention Week is, "I can live with that sound." The goal, Powers said, is to make people aware of the importance of a smoke detector, and encourage them to think twice before disconnecting them.

"In Minnesota, we lose about 70 people in fires annually. Nationally, we lose about 2,500 people who don't have working detectors in house fires. In Minnesota, we still have about 30 to 40 people per year because they don't have a smoke alarm in their home," Powers said.

As part of the theme, firefighters nationally are trying to educate the public on the necessity of having a working smoke detector in the home.

Fire Prevention Week starts next week. Farmington firefighters will visit the schools next week, talking to fourth graders and encouraging them to make sure their parents understand how important working smoke detectors are in the home.

Farmington firefighters will also hold a blood drive from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 at Fire Station 1 on Denmark Avenue. An open house will be held the same day from 6-9 p.m., at station 2 on Pilot Knob Road.

Several activities are planned for the open house, including a vehicle extrication demonstration, a helicopter fly-in (as long as there are no emergencies and good weather), fire truck tours, fire fighting training house and a jumbo fire truck slide. In addition, the Girl Scouts of America and the Dakota County Communications Center will have booths set up at the fire station. The event is free and open to the public.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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