Fernie Fire Rescue Department has been teaming up with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) this week, to let our community know it is Fire Prevention Week (FPW).
As always, the focus of FPW is to prevent home fires. This year, the campaign is also urging people to protect their homes and families with planning and life-saving technology, like smoke alarms.
“Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan,” said Fernie Fire Rescue Fire Prevention Officer, Dave Kurschenska. “Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Unfortunately, many homes have smoke alarms that just don’t work. In fact, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. About one in five of smoke alarm failures was due to dead batteries.”
Fernie Fire Rescue is urging everyone to make sure that their smoke alarms are equipped to help protect from fire by putting the following tips into action:
• Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home (including the basement), outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. Larger homes may need additional smoke alarms. Never remove or disable smoke alarms.
• Interconnection of smoke alarms is highly recommended; when one smoke alarm 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.) A licensed electrician can install either hard-wired multiple-station alarms. Wireless alarms, which manufacturers have more recently begun producing, can be installed by the homeowner.
• There are two types of smoke alarm technologies – ionization and photoelectric. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires – like a pan fire or the smoke from cooking. A photoelectric alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires – like a cigarette, overheated wiring or something hot like a space heater. Install both types of alarms in your home or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms that take advantage of both technologies.
• Test smoke alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
• All smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and those that are hard-wired alarms, should be replaced when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.