Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11, promotes working smoke alarms

This year’s theme from NFPA is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”

400x287v02September 24, 2014 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week (FPW) for more than 90 years, is gearing up to officially kick off this year’s campaign, October 5-11, 2014. The theme is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!” 

“Smoke alarms can help make the difference between life and death in a fire, but they need to be working,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign reinforces the importance of testing smoke alarms each month, and works to ensure that people have the needed protection in the event of a home fire.” 

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. While research shows that most U.S. homes have at least one smoke alarm, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. 

“The common presence of smoke alarms in the home tends to create a false sense of security,” said Carli. “Simply having smoke alarms isn’t enough. They need to be tested and maintained properly.” 

In addition to monthly testing, smoke alarms should be installed and maintained as follows: 

  • There should be at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home (including the basement), outside all sleeping areas and in every bedroom.
  • For smoke alarms that include a 10-year non-replaceable battery, replace the entire smoke alarm if it begins to “chirp”, indicating that the battery is running low. For smoke alarms that use regular batteries, replacing the batteries once a year is recommended, or before then if the battery begins to chirp.
  • All smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years or sooner if they don’t respond properly when tested.
  • For the best protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected, so that when one alarm sounds, they all do.

NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week website (www.fpw.org) offers a wealth of smoke alarm information and resources for parents and teachers, and for fire departments working to implement the campaign in their communities. In addition, NFPA’s Sparky the Fire Dog® website (www.sparky.org/fpw) features award-winning apps and games for kids that reinforce the campaign’s fire safety messages.  

NFPA and all its 2014 FPW partners – LEGOLAND® Parks, Domino’s® PizzaCVS Pharmacy and The Home Depot – are working together to promote the importance of monthly testing and related smoke alarm information through a wide range of engaging, family-focused events and initiatives during and leading up to the campaign. 

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and upcoming events, visit www.fpw.org.

About Fire Prevention Week
NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925. Visit www.firepreventionweek.org for more safety information.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275 

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