WILMINGTON -- It's fire prevention week. Local fire departments are promoting several events and educational opportunities, but that's not all. Some firefighters are going above and beyond the call of duty. Wilmington firefighter Herman Born is spending hours delivering Meals on Wheels, but the meals aren't the only reason he's going to people's homes. Born said, "We received grants to deliver smoke alarms or smoke detectors to families who cant afford or don't have them." For the past four years the New Hanover County and Wilmington Fire Department have taken a week to deliver Meals on Wheels. "This is fire prevention week and we are doing it to raise awareness of the importance of smoke detectors and smoke alarms in houses," Born said. The first stop along Born's Meals on Wheels route is Ruth Brunson's home. Brunson said, "I've been hearing a beeping sound but I didn't know what was wrong or nothing." Born said, "So what I'll do, I'll send somebody out to replace it and also as what you heard there means it's dirty or the battery needs changed." Firefighters not only check the fire detectors, they also look for also obvious fire hazards such as a newspaper close to an ashtray. "Always make sure anytime you have more than one appliance plugged in please you use your surge protector strip," Born said. Born says, above all, make sure you have a working smoke detector. "Without a smoke detector or a properly working smoke detector, you know, the smoke can consume or overtake your senses before you know it, and therefore perish in a fire." That's something Brunson is glad Born helped her prevent. "I appreciate that," she said. "I appreciate that they fix it." Born also says to be sure your family has a fire escape plan, and that you practice it periodically. There should also be two exits to get out of your home and a designated meeting place once you get outside.
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