National Fire Prevention Week 2016 Focuses on Smoke Alarm Safety

untitled-1The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sponsors National Fire Prevention Week each year. In 2016, the theme is “Don’t wait – Check the Date!” For the third straight year, the focus of NFPW is on smoke alarm safety. The general public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, according to a major survey on fire safety, which is why the spotlight remains on these life-saving devices one more time.

It is highly advised to have an Annual Chimney Cleaning to be sure that any creosote or obstructions (animal nests) are removed from your chimney. Prior to using your stove or fireplace each season please get a full Chimney Inspection which will assure you that the entire system is in good working order.

Smoke Alarm Tips and Statistics

When the news about fire prevention gets out, more lives can be saved. It’s easy to access and share information about National Fire Prevention Week on the NFPA website. The following are key messages currently being emphasized:

· Be aware of the manufacture date of the smoke alarms in your home.

· Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.

· Find the date of manufacture on the back of smoke alarms. Replace a smoke alarm ten years after the date shown.

The following are important statistics about smoke alarms that highlight their importance and the need to be diligent in making sure they are operational:

· The risk of fatalities in a reported home fire is reduced by half if working smoke alarms are in the home.

· Three of five deaths in home fires between 2009 and 2013 were in homes that had no operational smoke alarms or no smoke alarms.

· The top reasons smoke alarms fail to operate are that the batteries are dead, disconnected, or removed.

Smoke Alarm Secrets

It has been concluded by experts that it’s best to have two different types of smoke alarm in your home. One is a photoelectric smoke alarm, and it responds most effectively to smoldering fires. The other is an ionization smoke alarm, which responds most effectively to flaming fires.

When fires are sizeable enough that they are supposed to set off smoke alarms, hardwired smoke alarms have been found to activate 94% of the time and battery-powered smoke alarms work in those instances about 80% of the time.

Based on these studies, it seems hardwired smoke alarms are the way to go, both a photoelectric smoke alarm and an ionization smoke alarm. There should be one on each level of your home and one in each bedroom.

NFPW Resources

houseonfireA significant number of house fires in the U.S. each year are associated with heating systems, such as fireplaces and wood stoves. It is our hope at Chimney Solutions that the messages being shared during National Fire Prevention Week will make a significant impact on safety. There are many different resources available on the website, including the following:

· Sparky the Fire Dog’s Fire Safety for Kids page, which has activities that can be used in classrooms.

· Sparky’s Schoolhouse is a classroom portal on the website; and it makes it easy for teachers to find all of the resources they need, including lesson plans, music videos, apps, and eBooks.

· Tips for communities include brief fire safety lessons with informative, easy-to-read handouts that could be shared with families.

· There are added tips for high-risk populations and individuals such as the deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Remember! Smoke alarms are very important life-saving devices. This is the third and final consecutive year that National Fire Prevention Week will focus on smoke alarms, but the fact that it has been a three-year initiative speaks volumes.

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