October is Fire Prevention Month – Smoke Alarms

October has been designated “Fire Prevention Month” to commemorate the infamous Great Chicago Fire that occurred in October of 1871. More than 300 people died in that fire and almost one-third of Chicago burned.

This is a perfect time to discuss fire safety with your family and improve your home’s safety by checking your alarms. Practice whole home safety and be prepared. A home emergency can happen at any time. Fire is FAST! There is little time to escape. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill the air.

How important are smoke detectors at home? According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries.

Consider these tips:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each
    sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms, including the basement.
  • It is important 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.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • 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.

Please visit the following website for additional information about Fire Safety:
The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) website offers informative fire safety
“Tool Kits”, videos, and information related to heating equipment, kitchen fires, clothes
dryers, and a number of other fire safety subjects. All of these resources are free and
downloadable from the Safety Information page on the NFPA website: www.nfpa.org.

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