Seven children under 8 years of age, along with two adults, died as a result of a fire March 25 at their home in Charleston, W.Va.
Firefighters found one smoke detector in the home. It was stored in a cabinet and was not operating.
No one can say with certainty whether operating smoke detectors would have prevented the Charleston deaths. But it is known that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors - when working - do save lives.
Too many homes lack such detectors. And in too many with them, they are installed and forgotten. Batteries are not replaced. Operating checks are not performed.
If your home doesn't have smoke detectors, install at least one. If you already have them, check whether they are operating and replace the batteries, if necessary.
Do it now - and make it a point to do so regularly in the future.
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