Fire Prevention Week: Steps that will Keep You Safe Year-Round
Take These Steps to Keep Your Home Safe All Year
Earlier this year, a Massachusetts fire marshal held a press conference to report there were a higher-than-average number of home fires occurring in the state. While the causes of the fires varied, many of the homes and buildings did not have functioning smoke alarms. Supported by fire chiefs and members of local fire service groups, the fire marshal urged everyone to ensure they had functional smoke alarms in their homes.
Sadly, the fact that many structures did not have operational smoke alarms came as no surprise to those in fire service. It also comes as no surprise to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) – the sponsoring organization of Fire Prevention Week, which is happening now.
For the third year in a row, the NFPA is campaigning to raise awareness for smoke alarms. Their rationale reflected that of the fire marshal – loss of life from home fires can be drastically reduced with properly functioning smoke alarms.
Don’t Wait – Check the Date!
The NFPA has reported several misconceptions regarding smoke alarms, including how often they should be replaced. Smoke alarms can begin to lose their sensitivity after a decade, so the NFPA strongly recommends replacing them every 10 years.
Most people don’t know about this 10-year recommendation. In fact, a recent NFPA national survey reported that 90 percent of respondents were not aware of it. Meanwhile, nearly 20 percent of respondents reported having smoke alarms that were 10 years or older.
To help with step-by-step instructions, the NFPA provides this infographic:
The NFPA website has more information about Fire Prevention Week. It’s also important to consider fireplace safety for the home, and for homes with children, gas fireplace safety.