This year’s Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4-10, but the underlying message of this year’s theme is one which should be reinforced all year long, says Prosper Fire Marshal Bryan Ausenbaugh.
“The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is the critical role that smoke alarms play in home safety,” he said. “It’s been proven that about half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep.”
To address that, the National Fire Prevention Association has adopted the theme of “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm.” And, while the theme is directed at the traditional seven-day Fire Prevention Week, maintaining good smoke alarms in working order is a year-round necessity.
“The key message of this year’s campaign, which we will carry throughout the month of October, is to install smoke alarms in every bedroom,” he said. “There should be one outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Here in Prosper, many homes are large enough to require smoke alarms in hallways and other areas as well.”
Smoke alarms, properly positioned and in good working order, save lives. A home fire produces large amounts of smoke very quickly, and smoke alarms give occupants the time necessary to get out of the house. Having working smoke alarms cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire by 50 percent.
Here are some tips from the Fire Department regarding smoke alarms:
- Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area on every level of the home.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Prosper firefighters are available to assist homeowners in identifying locations for smoke and fire alarms in the home. Contact the Fire Department by calling (972) 347-2424 or by visiting www.prosperfire.com.