By: Alicia Turner
October 6, 2014
October is national fire safety month and the Tallahassee Fire Department teamed up with Big Bend Red Cross and state Fire Marshall's Office to kick off the Where’s the Beep campaign.
The kick off was held in the Apalachee Ridge Neighborhood in Tallahassee because TFD says they’ve responded to forty fires in the neighborhood in the last year, including one home that was completely destroyed.
Katie Sherk is the disaster program manager for the capital area chapter of the Red Cross and she told eyewitness news fire safety starts with education
"We find that there is a really great need into educating our community about what they can do to reduce the risk of fire," Sherk said,
Lieutenant Mike Bellamy of the Tallahassee Fire Department said that even though smoke detectors can save lives they’re often an afterthought,
“I think the biggest problem that we have is that folks are in denial about the fire. That smoke alarm is on the top of the ceiling and you just never pay attention to it, and it just never crosses your mind to just go up and hear that beep and make sure that it's working,” Bellamy said.
TFD also invited kids from Rickards High School to participate in a simulation fire to experience a home that's fully engulfed in smoke. Perry West, president for the neighborhood association in Apalachee Ridge said getting them involved should create a ripple effect.
"Hopefully getting the kids reinvigorated and getting them more aware they can involve their parents and their family about creating an exit plan to get them out just in case there is a fire in their house," said Bellamy.
The Red Cross says 90 percent of fires are preventable and so far this year it's spent more than 40 thousand dollars in Leon county alone on residential fires.