October 7-13, 2012, is National Fire Prevention Week, which is an annual public awareness campaign to promote fire safety throughout the U.S.
Local volunteer firefighters in Madison at North Madison Volunteer Fire Co. and the Madison Hose Co. No. 1 are participating in National Fire Prevention Week. North Madison Volunteer Fire Co., which protects the north end of town, held an open house Sunday, providing tours and educational sessions to residents.
Two volunteer firefighters from Madison Hose Co. No. 1, which protects the south end of town, are offering a free evaluation of smoke detectors.
Smoke detectors have a 10-year reliability life. This fact surprises many homeowners. For most people, smoke detectors are a forgotten yet vital component of the home. Detectors sit on the ceiling and are largely ignored except for the annoying chirping of a dying battery or the piercing yelp when food is burned.
Local businesses Dowler Construction Services, LLC and Nichols Electric, LLC have joined forces to bring home the message that many people may be living with a false sense of security. According to both the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and manufacturers, detectors should be replaced every ten years.
“It is ironic that most homeowners intuitively know that their precious electronics do not have a long life, yet we all expect our smoke detectors to last forever!” exclaimed Rebecca Gerard, one of the owners of Dowler Construction Services, LLC.
“In addition, electrical and life safety codes have changed over the last ten years in regards to detector types, detector placement, and powering,” said Dave Nichols, owner of Nichols Electric, LLC. “And the materials in our homes are different than just a few years ago – they burn much hotter and much faster.”
Smoke detectors offer the greatest protection for a family at the least expensive price – it is the single best value a family can have when it comes to life safety. As a tie-in to Fire Prevention Week (October 7 – 13 this year) the two firms are offering free analyses of homeowners’ existing fire detection capabilities.
Chris Dowler, an owner of Dowler Construction Services, LLC and Dave Nichols, owner of Nichols Electric, LLC have a combined 45 years as volunteer firefighters and a combined 60 years in the residential and commercial construction industries. This level of knowledge and experience means that homeowners can be assured that their families’ life safety protection will be well served when they invest in an upgrade to their fire detection system.
For additional information, visit their website at www.Every10forLife.com
Here is some additional information about how to stay safe in your own home:
This year’s theme is “Have 2 Ways Out!” which focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
Created and sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the goal of National Fire Prevention Week is to educate families on what causes home fires, how to prevent them, and what to do in an emergency situation. NFPA has been the official sponsor of this campaign since 1922, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
“National Fire Prevention Week is critical in educating the public about the dangers of fire and how to protect themselves and their families,” said Russell Fleming, President of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA). “Fire sprinklers play a key role in protecting people and firefighters from the tragedies that fire can cause. To date, there has never been a multiple loss-of-life in a home that has a properly installed and maintained fire sprinkler system. I urge the public to learn more about how they can prevent and protect themselves and their families from the dangers of fire.”
NFSA provides the following fire safety tips for families:
- Make an escape plan
- Install smoke detectors in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and check the batteries often
- Install fire sprinklers throughout your house
- Once you’re out, stay out! Do not re-enter a burning building
- Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year
And these tips for kids:
- Never touch matches, candles or lighters. Make sure you tell an adult immediately if you see matches or a lighter in a room.
- Don’t cook alone.
- Remind your parents to turn pot handles toward the center of the stove.
- Never stick anything in an electric socket.
- Never hang anything on a lamp, heater, or radiator.
- Always let an adult know if there is any kind of smoke or fire in your house.
- If there is a fire, get out fast.
- Once you are out of the house, call 9-1-1 immediately.
- In case of fire, develop an escape plan with your parents. Plan for two possible escape routes out of your house. Practice your escape plan with your parents several times a year.
- Stay low to the floor when escaping a fire, as smoke rises and makes it difficult to see.
For more information on National Fire Prevention Week and local events in your area, visit www.NFPA.org.