ALTON — National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 5-11 and this year’s theme is Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Test Yours Every Month.
Annually, more than half of fire deaths occur in homes without properly working smoke alarms. The Alton Fire Department encourages citizens not only to change their smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks, but also to test their smoke alarms monthly.
The Alton Fire Department will hold its annual Fire Safety Week Open House from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, at Alton Fire House No. 1, 333 E. 20th St.
The free open house will have activities including a children’s fire safety trailer, Sparky the Fire Dog, fire extinguisher training for adults, and free hot dogs and chili.
The event will feature two demonstrations this year. At 1 p.m. firefighters will perform a rope rescue demonstration using the ladder truck and at 2 p.m. they will have a “live” fire demonstration.
Smoke alarm facts
Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms provide an early warning so a building’s occupants can get outside quickly.
Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
Use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
Test smoke alarms at least once per month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
Hearing-impaired people can use special alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers.
Replace smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.