Fire Department educates during prevention month

TAYLOR – In an effort to better educate communities throughout the country about smoke alarm recommendations, the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association is promoting “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!” as the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Month campaign, which the city is supporting locally this month. NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Month for 88 years. “Many homes in the city of Taylor may not have any smoke alarms, not enough smoke alarms, alarms that are too old, or alarms that are not working,” Fire Chief Stephen Portis said. “We want residents to understand that working smoke alarms are needed in every home, on every level (including the basement), outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom. “And if a smoke alarm is 10 years old or older, it needs to be replaced.” Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire, he says. NFPA statistics show that working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire nearly in half. But they must be working properly to do so. Association data shows that many homes have smoke alarms that aren’t working or maintained properly, usually because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Roughly two-thirds of all home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. The Fire Department will be broadcasting fire prevention videos on the local cable (WOW! channel 8 and Comcast channel 12) during Fire Prevention Month to promote the smoke alarms theme locally, and to help residents understand NFPA’s smoke alarm recommendations. Through these educational, family-oriented videos, residents can learn more about the power of smoke alarms, newer options for installing and maintaining them properly, and ultimately how to better protect their loved ones from fire. In addition, residents are encouraged to watch the “Rainbow Valley Fire Department” animated fire prevention series on local cable channels. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 27, the Taylor Professional Firefighters Union and Toarmina’s Pizza of Taylor are sponsoring the first Pizza and Prevention event. During those hours a firefighter may deliver a pizza and install a new smoke alarm in residents’ homes. Firefighters that day will be at Toarmina’s, 11054 Allen Road, to sell and deliver 24-inch pizzas for $15.99 ($5 off the regular price), with 100 percent of the profits going to fire prevention. Special coupons for the pizzas also will be available for sale during the event that may be used at any time. NFPA and the Taylor Fire Department agree that interconnected smoke alarms offer the best protection; when one sounds, they all do. This is particularly important in larger or multistory homes, where the sound from distant smoke alarms may be reduced to the point that it may not be loud enough to provide proper warning —especially for people who are sleeping. “Most people have a sense of complacency about smoke alarms because they already have one in their homes. Fire Prevention Month provides an excellent opportunity to re-educate people about smoke alarms, new technologies and expanded options for installation and maintenance,” said Judy Comoletti, division manager for NFPA public education. “Ultimately, we want this year’s campaign to serve as a call to action for households nationwide to inspect their homes to ensure that their families have the full smoke alarm protection that’s recommended.” The Fire Department offers the following tips for making sure smoke alarms are maintained and working properly: • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound. • If an alarm “chirps,” warning that the battery is low, replace the battery right away. • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested. Ten-year lithium battery smoke alarms are a “sound” replacement choice for older 9-volt battery units. Ten-year battery smoke alarms cost about $15. • Never remove or disable a smoke alarm. To find out more about Fire Prevention Month programs and activities in the city, contact the Fire Department at (734) 374-1355 or www.cityoftaylor.com/fire. To learn more about “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!” go to www. firepreventionweek.org.
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