Don’t wait, check the date
By Rick Prasad
Fire Prevention Week – October 9 to 15
Smoke alarms are a critical component in home fire safety planning. The 2016 Fire Prevention Week theme is ‘Don’t Wait, Check the Date’ on your smoke alarm. According to an NFPA report, in one-fifth (20%) of 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%) or with no working smoke alarms (21%).
There is a general assumption that simply having a smoke alarm will offer us enough safety.
The truth is that regular testing, maintenance and replacing older alarms is required to give us the best odds of escaping a fire. Smoke alarms should be replaced at or before they reach ten years of age. Most smoke alarms have a manufactured date on the back or in the battery housing. Some manufacturers have even gone as far as putting a best before date on them or building in an audible warning when they reach a certain age.
Lead image: The Kimberley Fire Department is hosting a Fire Prevention Week Open House Thursday, October 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Fire Station #1, 340 Spokane Street. Photograph courtesy of Kimberley Fire Department
– Rick Prasad is Assistant Fire Chief of the Kimberley Fire Department and Fire Prevention Officer for the City of Kimberley