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Mesa FD pushing safety as New Year's resolution

PHOENIX -- Some New Year's resolutions are harder to keep than others. One that should be at the top of your list this 2014 is keeping your loved ones safe, according to a Mesa Fire Department official.

"Make it a resolution to look around your home to start evaluating some of the things this year to pay attention to," said Mesa Fire Capt. Forrest Smith.

He said the first step is checking that every fire detector in your house works properly.

"Have you had that smoke detector that you never changed the battery? When you cook it keeps going off and so you decide to take the battery out and never put it back?"

Smith has responded to a fire where that was the case and the homeowner was awakened by a knock on the door by the fire department instead of a fire detector.

Another simple thing to do to protect your home from fires is keeping your yard neat. That includes trimming overgrown trees, and bushes maintained.

"Trees and dried material create what you call ladder fuels," Smith said. "If I have exposed a flame source to something in my yard, that flame could spread into my house."

Equally important is to put a fence up around your pool if you have children. In 2013, one child under the age of six died from a drowning. Though the number is significantly lower than previous years, Smith said one is always too many.

Another thing to consider is installing carbon monoxide detectors or servicing your furnace.

Learning CPR can also help save those around you in case of an emergency. Even if it's just hands-only CPR, Smith encouraged parents to stay up to date with available resources that can keep their families safe.

The Mesa Fire Department has a variety of resources on their website. For more information, click here.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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