Smoke Detectors Save Galesburg Home - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Smoke Detectors Save Galesburg Home

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With daylight saving time Sunday, local fire departments want you to add one more thing on your 'to-do' list, besides setting your clocks back one hour: check the batteries in all your smoke detectors. 

It helped save one family's home, and it could save yours.  

Ralph Beasley of Galesburg would be telling a much different story today, if it weren't for smoke detectors. 

"I heard about these new smoke detectors on the radio, they said they had a ten year battery," he says, "I thought that's wonderful." 

He bought three, one for each floor of the house.  Then four days later, this happened. 

"We had this fire," Beasley says, "I started smelling something and headed down the stairs, and the smoke was pretty bad then, and the alarms were going off," Beasley says. 

Both Beasley and his wife were home at the time, and they were able to get their pets, escape, and call 911.  

"With the early detection with the smoke detector they were able to alert the fire department early enough to where we were able to get on scene and contain that fire to just that one small area," Jeff Maher of the Galesburg Fire Department's Fire Prevention Bureau says.  

The fire had started in the basement behind the dryer and quickly spread to the walls.

"This is how every dryer fire starts, this is how every fire in general starts," Maher says, "Without detection the homeowners could've not been alerted to that fact, and it just would've spread throughout the entire home until it eventually consumes the home and its contents." 

Thanks to these smoke detectors, Ralph Beasley is only replacing his dryer, instead of much more.  

"And you can see, they work well!" Beasley says.

Firefighters recommend testing your smoke detectors at least once a month. You can do that by pushing on the button and making sure it sounds off. Also replace the batteries at least twice a year, around daylight saving time to help you remember.