The National Fire Prevention Agency’s Fire Prevention Week runs from October 5 – 11, 2014 and this year’s official theme is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”
Did you know that many people don’t test their smoke alarms as often as they should? When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. You need working smoke alarms to give you time to get out so test your alarms every month.
For example, did you know…
- Almost three of five (60%) of reported home fire deaths in 2007 to 2011 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
- In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 93% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 79% of the time.
- When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
- An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed, to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.
It is best to install both smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home, apartment and/or RV. And remember to test alarms at least once a month, replace batteries once a year, and get new units every 10 years.
And, if you haven’t already, take some time to make an Escape Plan that includes two escape routes from every room in the house. Draw a floor plan of your home showing doors, windows and stairways. Mark locations of first aid and disaster kits, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, ladders, and utility shut-off points. Next, use a colored pen to draw a broken line or arrow charting at least 2 escape routes from each room … and walk through the routes with your entire family.
- Make sure your windows are not nailed or painted shut.
- Make sure security bars on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside…and teach everyone how to open them!
- Teach everyone how to stay LOW to floor (air is safer).
- Pick a spot to meet after escaping fire (meeting place).
- Practice, practice, practice! Set aside time each month or several times a year and do fire drills with your family.
Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to reach out and share resources that empower people to have a hand in preventing home fires and protecting their families.
Learn more about #FPW2014 at www.fpw.org and visit USFRA's NFPA Fire-Safety Lesson Plans post and Sparky the Fire Dog® site at www.sparky.org to find resources for kids.
Also check out USFRA's Smoke Alarms group and our Pet Fire & Life Safety group and help spread the word!