For Immediate Release: October 1, 2010
Focus on Smoke Alarms for Fire Prevention Week 2010
Raleigh -- "Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!" is the theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3-9. Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin urges all North Carolinians to make sure their homes are properly protected by smoke alarms.
"Unfortunately some people don't realize the importance of smoke alarms until it's too late. Fire and smoke spread very quickly, and the sooner you are alerted to a fire, the better your chances of escaping safely," Commissioner Goodwin said. "Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths per year occur in homes with no smoke alarms at all or no working smoke alarms."
To protect your home, follow these smoke alarm safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on each level of your home, including the basement.
- Test all alarms once a month. Dust or vacuum smoke alarms annually and/or whenever the battery is changed. Follow manufacturer's instructions for cleaning.
- Change traditional batteries at least once a year, and if the alarm chirps, replace only the battery. When you replace alarms, choose ones with nonreplaceable long-life batteries. /li>
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
Commissioner Goodwin also encourages all families to participate in North Carolina's Family Fire Drill Day on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
"In a fire, you might only have a few minutes to get out," Commissioner Goodwin said. "Gathering your family to practice your home fire escape plan could potentially save the life of someone you love."
To participate in Family Fire Drill Day:
- Make a home fire escape plan. Identify two escape routes from each room. Make sure routes are clear and that windows and doors open properly.
- Pick a safe, outdoor meeting place where everyone will go when the alarms sounds.
- Sketch out your floor plan and escape routes; post the plan where everyone can see it.
- When the alarm sounds, "Get Low and Go." Crawl or stay low, underneath smoke.
- Hold a Family Fire Drill at least twice a year so it stays fresh in everyone's mind.