Smoke Alarms Save Lives! It’s Fire Prevention Week


Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15, sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association. The theme this year focuses on smoke alarm replacement. Nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2014 resulted from fires in buildings without working smoke alarms (NFPA). Smoke alarms play a vital role as an advance warning to help prevent fire-related deaths and injuries.

It is no coincidence the week always falls on the week closest to Oct. 9, to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and Peshtigo Fire that began on the same day and in the same year: 1871. The fires go down as the two most devastating forest fires in United States history that occurred during October (NFPA).

Make it a priority to maintain smoke alarms and discuss a fire escape plan with family members. Survey data by the NFPA reveals a small percentage of people don’t know how old their alarms are and how often they need to be replaced.

Smoke Alarm Recommendations:

– Install alarms inside every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more smoke alarms.
– Keep alarms on the ceiling or high on a wall.
– Keep alarms at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms from the kitchen.
– Alarms needs to be replaced 10 years from the manufacture date, which can be found on the back of the alarm.
– Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button. If the alarm doesn’t sound by the push of the button, check the batteries which may need to be replaced. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the unit.
– Interconnect all smoke alarms in the building so if one sounds they all sound; this is recommended for best protection.
– There are special alarms available for people who are hard-of-hearing or deaf that have strobe lights and bed shakers (Education materials from NFPA).

Succeed offers a Fire Prevention training for organizations that describes the basic components of fire, prevention techniques, and how to develop a fire prevention plan. Safety videos are also available on topics of Fire Prevention in the Office, Fire Prevention in Healthcare, and Industrial Fire Prevention, available in English and Spanish.