Tyler County was made a little safer last week through the generosity of EQT Corporation. The energy company provided the funds for Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department to purchase 300 smoke detectors. Firefighters distributed the smoke detectors to children on Friday at Sistersville Elementary.
The charitable gesture should make homes safer during the holiday season, when house fires are more common.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2009 and 2015, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53 percent) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments. Nearly 60% of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes that had no smoke alarms (38 percent) or no working smoke alarms (21 percent), according to the NFPA.
Firefighter Mike Northcraft's home was destroyed by a fire earlier this year.
Northcraft can still recall the ringing of the smoke detectors, so he stresses the importance of having these life saving devices, and keeping them in working order. An alarm beeping for 60 seconds may be all it takes to prevent a tragedy.
EQT and the Sistersville VFD should be praised for their efforts to keep people safe.