This morning on the Today Show, NBC took an entire segment to talk about the unseen dangers of house fires. This timely piece on fire danger hits close to home. ESPN reported only this past Sunday that a Monroe, Georgia house fire took the life of Quentin Moses. He was not only a former Miami Dolphin, but also a defensive end and MVP 2005 for the University of Georgia. The cause of the fire is not yet reported. But tragically, not only did Mr. Moses pass away, his friend and her 10-year old child also lost their lives in this tragedy. Moses has been the assistant football coach Reinhardt University for several years. The news of his passing has clearly touched many in our community. Jason Taylor and others who knew Moses well have expressed their sorrow over the loss of life taken so young. He was 33 years of age.
It is believed that the fire may have begun in the kitchen. It may have been related to cooking or to an electrical issue. Classes were cancelled this afternoon at Reinhardt University for a celebration of Moses’ life. He was said to have inspired his student athletes with his positive attitude and wonderful smile.
The tragic loss of a young man, his friend and her daughter, perhaps could have been avoided. We do not know at this point. However, we do know that there are many many homes, in fact most homes, that are not as protected against such a tragedy as we might think.
Recently, the Today Show’s Rossen Report followed Orlando, Florida firefighters as they went door to door in one community to do safety inspections on homes. Most of the homes had smoke detectors that were not functional and none of the homeowners were aware of this. The detectors had many issues. The batteries might have been replaced, but the sensor, which is the mechanism that “sees” the smoke and starts the alarm, was not functioning. These sensors can accumulate dust over time. The test to make sure the sensor is working requires only a couple of steps. Light a candle and blow it out. Hold the smoke detector with batteries in it over the smoke from the candle. If it doesn’t sound, you need to replace your smoke detector. Most people believe that just pushing the button after you replace the battery to hear a loud beep, indicates the detector is fine. It only means the battery is fine. And a bad sensor means that the smoke detector will not warn you or protect you if there is smoke in your home.
Other problems with the detectors included age and room placement. You must have a smoke detector protecting your kitchen and upstairs bedrooms. If your smoke detectors are over ten years old, they should be replaced for the dust issue is likely harming the sensor. So in memory of all of those who have lost their lives in house fires, and especially in the memory of Coach Moses, take these steps to protect yourself and your family.
Scholle Law wishes to express our deepest condolences to the Moses family and the families of his friend and her daughter who were also lost in this fire. We hope that the life he led and his dedication will bring comfort to all those who are grieving his loss so deeply now.