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NEWS

EVENTS

Words From The Executive Director

Today, I would like to share with you an event that I still think about to this day.

 

When I was a manager at a local public housing agency in Louisiana almost 12 years ago, we were called to the scene of a horrific house fire. An entire family perished that night as they tried to stay warm by connecting heaters to extension cords on an overloaded power outlet. We found all of their burned bodies stacked on top of each other as they failed to get out of the front door.

 

Other than Hurricane Katrina, there was no single event during my public housing career that hurt more than that night.

 

I am reliving this tragic night with you as a cautionary tale. Please do not disable your smoke detectors and please do not block any exits or entrances in your home.

 

This is literally a life and death decision. Our recent inspections showed that many of our families are disabling their smoke detectors. We also found that many people are also blocking their rear exits.  One small fire can grow quickly if people aren’t properly alarmed by a smoke detector.

 

What’s most alarming is that home fires have become more dangerous and devastating recently because of the flammability of the materials in the house. Thirty years ago, you had on average about 14 to 17 minutes to escape a house fire, according to Consumer Safety Director John Drengenberg of Underwriters Laboratories. Today, with the prevalence of synthetic materials in the home, occupants have roughly 2 to 3 minutes to get out.

 

Everyone please be safe and call us if you need your smoke detector checked.

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SEPTEMBER 2018

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