Used with Permission Fort Greely Interceptor
By: US Army Garrison Fort Greely, Alaska Directorate of Emergency Services
When was the last time you tested the smoke alarms in your home? Was it last week? Last month? A year ago? If you’re like many people, you may not even remember. Smoke alarms have become such a common feature of U.S. households that they’re often taken for granted, and aren’t tested and maintained as they should be.
However, working smoke alarms are a critical fire safety tool that can mean the difference between life and death in a home fire. According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoke alarms can cut the chance of dying in a home fire in half. Meanwhile, NFPA data shows that and estimated 2,785 civilians died as a result of home fires in 2013; proper smoke alarm protection can be vital in lowering the number of deaths caused from house fires.
Members of the fire service have seen the devastating effects of fire first-hand; burn injuries, the loss of homes and the loss of possessions are distressing and can even be devastating. What’s even worse is witnessing a family’s anguish after a loved one has been killed in a fire. It’s heartbreaking.
As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11, 2014, NFPA is promoting “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!” to better educate the public about the immeasurable value of working smoke alarms. In support of these efforts, your Fort Greely Fire Department will be hosting local campaign activities throughout the week of October 5-11, 2014.
Our sincere hope is that all Fort Greely and Delta Junction residents participate in one or more of our Fire Prevention Week activities, and make sure there are working smoke alarms installed throughout their homes. These simple steps can help make a life-saving difference, and prevent the potentially life-threatening impact of fire.
Here are additional smoke alarm tips to follow:
• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
• Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Test alarms each month by pushing the test button.
• Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly.
• Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound the smoke alarm makes and understands what to do when they hear the smoke alarm.
To learn more about the “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!” campaign, visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.