24.9 F
Naperville
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Fire Prevention 24-7 – Spring cleaning and smoke alarms

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Spring is here….I think! So while you are spring cleaning, why not take a minute to inspect your smoke alarms? Working smoke alarms detect and alert people to fire in its early stages, providing the warning needed to escape safely. According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires nearly in half. However, smoke alarms don’t work forever.

sorayaAs Public Education Specialist of the Naperville Fire Department, I’m concerned that the presence of smoke alarms in your homes may give you a false sense of security. Oftentimes, people don’t know how old their smoke alarms are, if they’re still functioning properly, or if they are working at all. That lack of awareness can have deadly consequences: nearly two-thirds (65%) of all home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms more than 10 years old no longer offer a reliable level of safety. The Naperville Fire Department urges all residents to determine how old their smoke alarms are. (The date of manufacture is located on the back of the alarm.) If they’re 10 years old or older, replace them immediately! This includes smoke alarms that are hard-wired.

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In accordance with NFPA, the Naperville Fire Department offers the following recommendations for buying and installing smoke alarms:
Purchase combination smoke alarms or both ionization and photoelectric alarms.

Make sure smoke alarms have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. (Some older homes may not have smoke alarms installed in bedrooms, but it’s important that these locations include them to provide adequate warning.)

Time and time again, the Naperville Fire Department has witnessed the life-saving impact of smoke alarms. But we also know tragedy can result from smoke alarms that aren’t working properly. We strongly encourage all residents to inspect their smoke alarms today, and to replace them, if necessary.

If you have questions or concerns about smoke alarms, feel free to contact me.

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Soraya McLaughlin
Soraya McLaughlin
Soraya McLaughlin is the Naperville Fire Department Community Education Specialist. Contact her via email at mclaughlins@naperville.il.us.

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