If you live in a condo building, invite the fire department over

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If your condo association calls the River Forest Fire Department and ask for a speaker on fire safety that is specific to your own building, you will be only the third group in decades to make such a request.

We were the second. It's free. It's vitally important. It's personal. And it may save your life. I was stunned to hear that the department was equally stunned (and very pleased!) that we asked for their advice.

Do you feel safer because you live in a concrete building? What kind of alarm system do you depend on? What are your best escape routes?#34;balconies or stairways? Who is responsible for the evacuation of handicapped persons who cannot use stairways? Does your building have an enforceable procedure to ensure that every unit has a working smoke detector? If you're careful about your own, you'd better be sure everybody else is careful about theirs, or your good safety practices will count for nothing. And more ...

Lt. Robert Schoff brought along a number of crew members to check through the building while he made us think about the importance of preparing for an emergency before it happens?#34;and told us how to do it.

Where are the rest of you? I can't believe this type of request is so rare. Whether you are in Oak Park or River Forest, give your firemen a call. They'll be the happiest guests you've ever had!

Mary Goulding
River Forest

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