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Fire prevention: Fresh batteries provide life-saving seconds

Diesel, 6, and Makayden, 9, son and daughter of Staff Sgt. Nathaniel and Heather Delauder, pose for a photo with Sparky, Fort Rucker’s fire prevention mascot. (Photo by Jeremy Henderson)

Diesel, 6, and Makayden, 9, son and daughter of Staff Sgt. Nathaniel and Heather Delauder, pose for a photo with Sparky, Fort Rucker’s fire prevention mascot. (Photo by Jeremy Henderson)

Published: October 3, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 3, 2014) -- A few seconds spent to check the batteries in a smoke detector could provide Families just enough time to exit their home in the event of a fire-related emergency.

According to Sgt. 1st Class Tommy Norris Jr., Fort Rucker assistant chief of fire prevention, many fires occur during the night as Families rest, and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign focuses on promoting the importance of smoke detectors.

“This year’s theme is ‘Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives,’” Norris said. “We will be able to answer questions about smoke detectors. If people have questions about cleaning smoke detectors or how to change the batteries, then we can assist them.

“Change your batteries every time you change your clocks,” he added. “Most fires happen in the evening or at night. It is a proven fact smoke detectors save lives.”

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-10 and several events across Fort Rucker will provide educational opportunities for Soldiers and their Families.

“Each day there will be a whole variety of activities,” Norris said. “We will be at the post exchange Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. We will have a fire truck outside. There will be a table set up with balloons, coloring books and several pieces of educational material.”

Similar educational events are also scheduled for each of the post’s community centers throughout the week, according to Norris.

“We will be at the different community centers from 4-7 p.m. with one of the fire trucks and the fire safety trailer,” he said.

Residents of Bowden Terrace should mark their calendars for Oct. 6. Fire Prevention Week will visit the Munson Heights community center Oct. 7 and Allen Heights Oct. 8.

Sparky, the official mascot for Fort Rucker’s fire prevention efforts, will be present at various locations throughout the week.

Each fire station at all the base fields, as well as Fire Station No. 1, will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day during Fire Prevention Week, according to Norris.

“Everyone is welcome to come by to take a tour and ask any questions they may have,” he said.

Fort Rucker officials will also incorporate additional safety education into this year’s Fire Prevention Week.

“This year will be a little different because we are incorporating child car seat safety,” Norris said. “We will have a technician available at various locations to assist with proper car seat installation and usage. If anyone wants to bring their vehicle by and have us take a look at their car seat, then we will gladly assist them.”

Fire Prevention Week provides an annual spotlight on life-saving education, but Fort Rucker officials consider it a yearlong endeavor.

“As the weather becomes cooler, people want to have open fires in their backyard,” Norris said. “There are many things you can look at from a fire prevention standpoint. It can be taken so many different directions and that is one thing we are trying to do in this office. We want to expand the public knowledge. We are working on programs and educational events that address fire prevention efforts ranging from dealing with kitchen fires to ensuring people clean out their dryer vents.”

For more information about smoke detectors and this year’s fire prevention campaign, visit

This article was originally published at

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