Fire Inspectors Are Not Just Annoying. They Might Save Your Life.

Jun 28, 2019

For NPR Illinois Podcamp, I’m Gabriel Villegas and this is a story about fire safety.
 

That’s certainly not something you want to hear on a normal day!

 

Larry Eaton works day in and day out to educate people on how to protect themselves from fire dangers. He’s the Southern Regional Administrator for the division of fire prevention.

“I was a police officer and dog handler for the Air Force, and then I went back and took a job with the East Peoria Fire Department and I was a fireman and a paramedic for five years.”

He has some important tips about fire safety.

“This goes back to when I was a fireman; people start to cook and then go lie down on the couch and the kitchen gets fully involved and they wake up to the smell of smoke, and they can’t catch their breath and they become incapacitated and ive been personally to several of these fires like that.”

Larry also discussed the importance of having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in buildings and homes to keep people safe from potential fires. 

“The importance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, the new smoke detectors have ten year sealed batteries so you don’t have to worry about changing the batteries when you change the clocks in the spring and fall.”

Carbon monoxide itself is something that, Larry said, to always be aware of.

“If you have fuel fired appliances in your house like water heaters, furnaces and a garage that your car pulls into, it's odorless tasteless gas so people often get overwhelmed because they don't realize it because they can't see it or smell it.”

Larry then talked about a few leading firestarters.

“Arson is a cause, children playing with matches and lighters. Unfortunately intentional fires is just something that happens in businesses and homes.”

Larry said he noticed something very interesting after a couple of investigations.

“Usually people are pretty happy to see the fire department, not so happy for police, and then fire inspectors fall somewhere in the middle.”

Larry made some good points about fire safety and what he does for his job as a fire inspector, but only you can do something about it on a daily basis.

For NPR Illinois Podcamp, I’m Gabriel Villegas.

 

Gabriel Villegas and Larry Eaton
Credit Chloe Bellot / NPR Illinois