Working smoke alarms save lives
Fire Prevention Week emphasizes important year-'round safety measures
In observance of both National Fire Prevention Month and National Fire Prevention Week, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York is asking New Yorkers to remember and re-learn basic fire safety rules that can help save lives. This year's theme, "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives," is an effort to teach people how smoke detectors are potentially life-saving pieces of equipment.
The National Fire Protection Association states two-thirds of fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or alarms that did not function properly. Though many homeowners and businesses do install smoke alarms in their buildings, they do not conduct regular testing or maintenance. Proper distribution and use of smoke alarms is critical in preventing future fire-related deaths.
"We frequently encounter homes without smoke detectors, or with non-working smoke detectors," said FASNY President Robert McConville. "Installing smoke detectors in your house is the single most important thing you can do to protect not only yourself, but firefighters as well. Smoke detectors give people the warning they need to safely escape a burning building, and firefighters are able to operate more safely knowing all of the occupants have escaped."
Fast Facts on Smoke Detectors
•Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or nonworking smoke alarms.
•In one-quarter of home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present, but did not sound.
•Almost half of the smoke alarms that did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries.
Smoke Detector Tips
•Smoke detectors should be installed inside and outside every bedroom and sleeping area and on every level of the building.
•Interconnected smoke detectors work best. When one detects smoke, they all alarm simultaneously.
•Smoke detectors should be tested monthly. Batteries should be replaced annually, or per manufacturer's instructions.
•Smoke detectors should be completely replaced every 10 years.
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began Oct. 8, but continued into and did most of its damage Oct. 9.
Additional information on Fire Prevention Week is available here: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/fire-prevention-week.
Founded in 1872, FASNY represents the interests of the more than 90,000 volunteer firefighters in New York. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.