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Juniper Park residents receive smoke alarms

After responding to a fire call on June 16 involving a smoking and sparking wire at a mobile home in Juniper Park on East Mission Road in Fallbrook, North County Fire Protection District (NCFPD) recognized the need to provide and install new smoke detectors for many of the residents.

North County Fire returned June 22 to follow up, replacing smoke alarms that did not work and providing smoke detectors to homes that did not have any. Smoke detectors were installed in 20 homes.

NCFPD public information officer John Buchanan said that smoke alarm replacement projects occur on a continuing, case-by-case basis and are “always a positive thing.” Fire prevention specialist Patty Koch called it a “group effort” to show concern for the residents.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was also present to hand out educational literature in Spanish about how to report suspicious persons and activity.

“It’s a chance to get in and shake hands with folks, let them know we’re here to help them,” said crime prevention specialist John McLelland. “We don’t want people to be afraid of the sheriff’s office or fire department.”

McLelland said he and the fire agency staffers were very well-received by the residents, and that he hopes to continue partnering with the fire department on similar projects in the future.

In case of a home fire, smoke alarms give occupants the critical time needed to get out of the house, and should be kept in proper working order. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 63 percent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or with smoke alarms that don’t work.

The NFPA also noted that statistics show that in reported home fires, only 50 percent of the homes had working smoke detectors, with the main problem being a missing or disconnected battery.

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Smoke alarm safety tips from North County Fire

• Install smoke alarms in all hallways and bedrooms, but not in the kitchen area.

• Smoke rises, so install smoke alarms following manufacturer’s instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling, three feet from the wall.

• Test alarms monthly by pushing the test button.

• Change smoke alarm batteries twice a year, when you change your clocks for daylight savings.

• If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace battery right away.

• Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use ten year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are ten years old and sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.

• Never take smoke alarm batteries out to put into other items like games or remote controls.

• Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear the alarm sound.

For more information, contact North County Fire Protection District at (760) 723-2010 or visit


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