Farmington Fire Department installs free smoke detectors in neighborhoods after structure fires

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – Around this time of year, we’re doing what it takes to stay toasty, as it gets cold outside. But, cranking up those space heaters, lighting the fireplace, and those dazzling Christmas tree lights can become a hazard if you’re not careful.

However, one New Mexico fire department is working to boost fire safety after a significant house fire. 

The Farmington Fire Department is going door to door delivering smoke detectors.

“If you don’t have a smoke detector you are 50% more likely to die in a fire they cut your risk by half. If you don’t have detectors it’s a strong possibility that if you had a fire in your house, you would not know quick enough,” said Fire Marshal, Brandy Vega. 

To get you out of a building that could leave your property charred.

“We had a person living in this house that was trying to stay warm, they didn’t have a conventional set up in the house, a fire started- luckily, they did get out of the house before they got hurt,” Kipp Rix, Assistant Fire Marshal said.

Now, the Farmington Fire Department is ringing doorbells to deliver lifesaving supplies.

“We have either talked to someone, left information, or actually installed a detector or given batteries,” Vega said.

Delivering fire detectors, a week after a fire keeps fire safety at the forefront.

“This opens everybody’s eyes I mean they see the fire trucks they hear the sirens they see our guys running around and dragging hoses, and it really makes it real to them. ‘This happened to my neighbor this could happen to me,’” Rix said.

And it’s this time of year where fire hazards are more common, and the fire department is the busiest. 

“Not everyone has a furnace in their house, it’s wood stoves, or fireplaces. People that don’t have the means to heat their house like that, they use alternative measures and it’s common that we get fires in houses that were using something for heating that wasn’t designed for heating,” Vega said.

The Farmington Fire Department started this program in March 2022 after every significant house fire they go to the neighborhood. 

Vega said so far, they have reached 200 property owners.