Dallas Fire Rescue Inspects Residential Homes for Fire Risks Through Program

As Fire Safety Survey Program enters its second year of inspecting citizen's homes, the department hopes to grow it even more

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Firefighters with Dallas Fire Rescue are doing more than just fighting fires.

They’re also working on growing a free program that they're calling the ultimate form of fire prevention.

It's called the Home Fire Safety Survey Program, where firefighters go into your home and look for all the things that could start a fire, as well as the hazards that would make it hard for you to get out.

"I feel much better, especially in a whole house that's mostly wood," said Elaine Lantz, who lives in a neighborhood around the Bishop Arts District, an area mostly made up of older homes.

We followed firefighters as they made a house call to Lantz' home.

Checklist in hand, the fire safety agents will inspect practically every corner of your home, checking smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, space heaters, outlets, extension cords and even burglar bars.

They have tools on hand to make fixes or install smoke alarms for you. The agents installed several smoke alarms for Lantz, as well as carbon monoxide detectors.

Lantz said she panicked when she realized recently that none of her smoke alarms were working properly. Once she researched options, she said she was almost spoofed by a salesman for a service the fire department does for free.

"I had a contractor wanting to put in the same number at $125 a shot, so that would have been six times $125," she said. "I wasn't even sure of what he was saying because he wanted to sell me this."

Firefighters also go over escape plans in your home and can teach you how to use your fire extinguisher.

The program is entering it's second year and has conducted more than 3,000 surveys ever since. It's something department leaders say they hope to grow in the coming year.

“We are getting in those communities and forming those relationships with them," said DFR assistant chief Tameji Berry. “Once they let us into their home, we’re making them aware of everything that we’re doing. We’re educating them and we’re training them. Teaching the teacher, if you will.”

To request a Home Fire Safety Survey, Dallas residents can call the DFR Inspection and Life Safety Education Office, at 214-670-4319.

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