It's Fire Prevention Week
By SMSgt. Brian Jansen, 139th Airlift Wing
/ Published October 05, 2010
ST. JOSEPH, MO. -- Smoke Alarms: Up, Down and All Around
Rosecrans Fire Department Reinforces Newer Smoke Alarm Recommendations
during Fire Prevention Week, October 3-9, 2010
(October 4, 2010) - In an effort to better educate communities throughout the U.S. about smoke alarm recommendations, the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA ) is promoting "Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!" as the theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 3-9, which Rosecrans is supporting base wide. NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for 88 years.
Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. NFPA statistics show that working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire nearly in half. But they must be working properly to do so. The association's data shows that many homes have smoke alarms that aren't working or maintained properly, usually because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Roughly two-thirds of all home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home (including the basement), outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom. If a smoke alarm is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced.
The Rosecrans Fire Department will be conducting their annual unannounced fire drills on the installation during Fire Prevention Week to promote "Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!" locally, and to help Rosecrans personnel understand NFPA's smoke alarm recommendations. We will also be emailing daily fire prevention articles with information you can apply in the workplace as well as home. On Thursday morning, we will be assisting the Elwood Fire Department in their grade school evacuation drill as well as show the children one of our vehicles and it's associated equipment.
NFPA and the Rosecrans Fire Department agree that interconnected smoke alarms offer the best protection; when one sounds, they all do. This is particularly important in larger or multi-story homes, where the sound from distant smoke alarms may be reduced to the point that it may not be loud enough to provide proper warning, especially for sleeping individuals.
"Most people have a sense of complacency about smoke alarms because they already have one in their homes. Fire Prevention Week provides an excellent opportunity to re-educate people about smoke alarms, new technologies and expanded options for installation and maintenance," says Judy Comoletti, division manager for NFPA public education. "Ultimately, we want this year's campaign to serve as a call to action for households nationwide to inspect their homes to ensure that their families have the full smoke alarm protection that's recommended."
Rosecrans Fire Department offers the following tips for making sure smoke alarms are maintained and working properly:
* Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
* If an alarm "chirps," warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
* Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they're 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
* Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week please contact the Rosecrans Fire Department at x3301. To learn more about "Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!," visit NFPA's Web site at www. firepreventionweek.org.