EL PASO- Fire crews responded to an apartment fire at 9010 Magnetic Wednesday afternoon that left a family displaced.
The fire was extinguished in 15 minutes, but a family of two was displaced for the night and received assistance by the American Red Cross of El Paso.
The cause of the fire was ruled accidental as the use of a plumbers torch was being used in performing piping maintenance. Total fire damages were estimated at $5,000.
In this case, a working smoke detector played a vital role is alerting the El Paso Fire Department.
A smoke detector can save lives, but you must remember these important tips:
• Test your detector - You should test every detector in your house once a month.
• Check your batteries! - You should check your batteries every six months, and change them every year. A good rule of thumb is to check the batteries when you turn your clocks ahead in the spring, and then change the batteries when you turn your clocks back in the fall. If a battery is starting to lose its power, the unit will usually chirp to warn you.
• Don't ignore false alarms! - If your unit seems to have more than its share of unfounded false alarms, replace it.
• Keep your detectors clean - At least once a year, vacuum, or blow out any dust that might accumulate inside the unit and in the slats on the outside cover.
• NEVER borrow a battery - NEVER borrow a battery from an alarm to use somewhere else. You might forget to replace it, or the battery might get worn down faster from the other appliance.
• NEVER paint a smoke detector - Painting a unit can block the vents in the cover, preventing smoke from getting to the sensors.
• Replace your smoke detectors - Replace your smoke detectors every 5 - 10 years depending on the manufacture’s recommendations.
For more information on fire safety, fire prevention or for more information on how to receive a free smoke detector please visit our website at www.elpasotexas.gov/fire  or call (915) 485-5699.