Chief’s Corner: Working smoke alarms save lives | SierraSun.com

Chief’s Corner: Working smoke alarms save lives

Mike Brown

Working smoke alarms can make a life-saving difference in a fire. That's the message behind this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!"

Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11, to remind local residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home and testing them monthly.

According to the latest NFPA research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

In a fire, seconds count. Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out.

This year's Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:

Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

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Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.

Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don't respond properly.

Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

The North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District will be hosting fire station tours with our local schools during the month of October to promote "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives!"

"Our station tours are a good opportunity for us to talk with our students about the importance of fire safety in the home. We ask our students to bring this life-saving information home to share with their families," said Assistant Fire Marshal Mark Regan.

To learn more about smoke alarms and "Working Smoke Alarms Saves Lives", visit NFPA's website at http://www.firepreventionweek.org.

"Chief's Corner" is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.