May 2, 2016 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today announced “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” as the official theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 9-15, 2016. The focus on smoke alarm replacement comes as the result of a recent survey conducted by NFPA, which showed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are or how often they need to be replaced.
NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes likely have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk in the event of a home fire.
“Smoke alarms play an essential role in home fire safety, but they have to be working properly in order to protect people,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy division. “This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign represents the final year of a three-year effort to better educate the public about the importance of smoke alarms, and what it takes to make sure they’re in working order.”
According to an NFPA report, in one-fifth (20 percent) of all U.S. homes with smoke alarms, the smoke alarms aren’t working; three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without smoke alarms (38 percent) or with no working smoke alarms (21 percent).
“People tend to assume that simply having smoke alarms in their home ensures adequate protection from fires, but it takes regular testing and maintenance to ensure that that’s the case,” said Carli. “Part of that effort is making sure you know how old the smoke alarms in your home are, and that they’re replaced every 10 years.” Carli notes that the age of a smoke alarm can be determined by looking for the date of manufacture on the back or side of the alarm, and to replace the units 10 years from that date.
NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years. For more information on this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” visit www.firepreventionweek.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 declaring 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)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275