A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern Signal Mountain Fire Department and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.
“Time and again, I’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” says Eric Mitchell, chief of the Signal Mountain Fire Department. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to Signal Mountain residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”
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 have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.
As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, NFPA is promoting this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” to better educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old. Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15, 2016.
To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). The Signal Mountain Fire Department also says smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and that batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low.
The Signal Mountain Fire Department has multiple programs that are in support of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign. Two of these programs are:
"Get Alarmed, TN!"
This is a grant-funded fire safety education and smoke alarm installation program administered by the State Fire Marshall's Office (SFMO). The program provides fire safety education and 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms to participating fire departments. The Signal Mountain Fire Department then delivers the educational information and installs smoke alarms in at-risk homes within our community. The alarms are free, but must be installed by the fire department or a partnering organization that has been trained by the fire department. Residents of the Town of Signal Mountain can contact the Signal Mountain Fire Department to schedule an installation.
"Home Fire_Life Safety Program"
A majority of fire related deaths happen in the home. Residents of our community can benefit from the home fire safety inspection program. Home inspections provide an opportunity to inspect for fire safety issues in the home, provide measures to improve the safety of residents and increase fire safety and awareness outreach. Residents of the Town of Signal Mountain can contact the Signal Mountain Fire Department and schedule a home visit.
For more information on smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”, visit www.firepreventionweek.org, or for information on any of our fire prevention programs, contact the Signal Mountain Fire Department by dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 886-7075.