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safe300.jpg Submitted by Nadine Maeser on Wed, 01/06/2010 - 5:51pm.

The sound of a smoke detector is not so pleasant to the ear, but it's a sound that could save you seconds when escaping a fire. It could even save your life. "All situations, they can be different but in a normal working fire, per say, the smoke detectors gonna sense the smoke prior, it's gonna give you what we call an early warning device, give you those extra seconds to get up and get out," says Batallion Chief Herman Born, of Wilmington Fire Department. The fire at Cypress Point killed one, injured others, and raised safety concerns. The detectors in the units didn't have a battery backup. The fire department says even if they did, they were not wired to work solely off of batteries and that's why tenants should be prepared. "Two's better than one but having a battery back-up, minimally, would be the cheapest," said Born. The fire department says it would be good for renters and home-owners to make some changes. "We haven't researched it right now but I believe it wouldn't be too expensive depending on the type of construction to have the electrical hard-wire as we call it with battery back-up systems installed within a residence or apartment building," said Born. Chief Born says it might have made a crucial difference in those critical early morning hours at Cypress Point Apartments. "It's hard to say given the circumstance but I'd like to think again the smoke detectors are early warning devices and have gone off," said Born. "All things being said if people were sleeping than I think it could have made a difference."

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