Bloomfield TownshipJuly 31, 2012
Fire Department offers free home safety inspections
By Robin Ruehlen
C & G Staff Writer
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — For anyone who has ever wondered how their home measures up to fire safety standards, the Bloomfield Township Fire Department has a solution.
Fire Marshal Mike McCully announced last week that the department is now offering voluntary in-home fire safety inspections for residents, available by appointment.
Fire Department staff will conduct a walk-through of the home, point out potential fire and safety hazards, and discuss home fire escape plans, meeting places and any other fire or safety questions that residents may have.
“Most fires happen in the home, and single-residence dwellings are one area that the Fire Department does not inspect on a regular basis — we don’t have any right to enter without a warrant or homeowner permission,” he said.
“We look for things like extension cords that are run under rugs, any kind of cooking safety hazards that might be visible in the kitchen, appliances and the storage around them, and the furnace and hot water heater,” he said.
Bloomfield Township Clerk Jan Roncelli called the program a “wonderful opportunity” for residents to lower the risk of fire in their homes and ensure they are prepared in case of emergency.
“It’s innovative, and it’s a great service to our residents,” she said. “I encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of the inspections.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were an estimated 369,500 reported home structure fires and 2,640 associated civilian deaths in the United States in 2010. Cooking, which was the cause of 44 percent of reported home fires, caused 410 deaths, 5,310 injuries and $993 million in direct property damage.
McCully said firefighters will provide advice about smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, cooking safety, proper disposal of fireplace ashes and a number of other common causes of residential structure fires. Homeowners are then responsible for repairing or removing any hazards. McCully said the walk-through could take up to one hour, depending on the size of the home.
To schedule an appointment for a home safety inspection with the Bloomfield Township Fire Department, call (248) 433-7745 Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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