All the recent house fires in Sedalia had one thing in common besides danger. None of them had working smoke detectors, according to Sedalia Mayor John Kehde.

“We had five in the last three weeks, and due to the cold, people were using space heaters, because they didn't have adequate heat. And in all five of those cases, their smoke detectors were not active. Either the batteries were dead, or they were taken off the wall,” Kehde said on Monday morning during the Veteran's Day Breakfast at Smith-Cotton High School.

“So what I'm saying is, we as a city, the Fire Department has smoke detectors. Call us and we'll come out and install it. The ones we have now have a 10-year-life battery,” he noted.

“We are so fortunate we didn't have a loss of life,” Kehde said of the recent house fires. “When we have a fire, not only are the residents in jeopardy, but also the fireman. So we're trying to prevent that.”

You may call the SFD with a non-emergency call at 826-8044, or stop by 600 Hancock or 2606 W. 16th. There is a limit of one detector per household, it was noted.

According to the Sedalia Fire Department's page on, the stats speak for themselves:

•Three out of five home fire deaths in 2007-2011 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
•Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
•In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 93% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 79% of the time.
•When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
•An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed, to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.

The page also explains how to design a home fire escape plan.

“We encourage residents to ALWAYS have working smoke detectors. If you cannot afford one, the Sedalia Fire Department will give one free to residents,” according to a post on Sedalia Firefighters Local 103's facebook page.

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