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National Fire Prevention Week “Don’t Wait — Check the Date”

untitled-1National Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016; and smoke alarms are a focus for the third year in a row. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has survey data showing that many misconceptions are associated with smoke alarms among members of the general public. Specific tips are being stressed along the lines of the theme: “Don’t wait – Check the Date!”

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.

Quick Facts About Smoke Alarms

Educational guidelines are available at the NFPA website, to make it easier for people in the community to share important facts about fire prevention. Statistics about fires are easily accessible, in addition to materials aimed at teaching and engaging children on the topic of fire safety. The following are some facts related to smoke alarms:

· Among the home fire deaths that occurred in the U.S. from 2009 through 2013, three out of five were caused by fires in homes that had no working smoke alarms or no smoke alarms.

· The risk of dying in a reported home fire is cut by half if there are working smoke alarms in your home.

· Hardwired alarms have been found to be more reliable than battery-powered alarms. When fires have been large enough to activate a smoke alarm, battery-powered alarms worked 80% of the time and hardwired alarms worked 94% of the time.

· The reasons smoke alarms fail to operate are most commonly that batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.

· Two types of smoke alarm are now recommended, to provide the best protection in the event of a fire. Photoelectric smoke alarms are more responsive to smoldering fires whereas ionization smoke alarms are more responsive to blazing fires.

Key 2016 Messages for “Don’t Wait – Check the Date”

Various aspects of smoke alarm safety have been covered by National Fire Prevention Week in recent years. The following are the key messages the NFPA is highlighting this year:

· Find out how old the smoke alarms in your house are, if you don’t already know.

· To determine the age of your smoke alarm, look at the date of manufactur on the back. Replacement is needed no later than 10 years from that date.

· Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.

There should be at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home. In addition, a smoke alarm should be installed in every bedroom. To determine whether or not a smoke alarm works, press the test button. If it doesn’t beep, batteries are needed.

Resources for Children

Horizontal photo of female hands taking home smoke detector apart with white ceiling background

Anyone can download fire prevention week printables, whether for use at home or in a community environment. Resources include math for grades 1 through 3 and a secret safety message from Sparky the Fire Dog. There is even a fire inspection checklist that allows children to become official Safety Inspectors in their home. The following are things that should be done for safety reasons:

· Make sure electrical cords are in good condition and have no signs of damage.

· Anything that can burn is kept way from the stovetop. For instance, curtains and potholders should not be on a stovetop.

· The furnace is inspected annually.

· Anytime food is cooking on the stove, an adult stays in the kitchen.

· Clothes dryer filters and vents are clean and free of lint build-up.

Because we sell fireplaces, wood stoves, gas burning stoves, and other solid fuel-burning appliances, we are glad to stress the importance of fire prevention and safety.

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