For Immediate Release: October 3, 2014
Insurance Commissioner Reminds Families that Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Honors 2014 Fire Prevention Week by declaring Oct. 8 Family Fire Drill Day for North Carolinians
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin launched 2014 Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5-11, by declaring Oct. 8 Family Fire Drill Day and urging everyone to uphold this year's campaign theme, "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives – Test Yours Every Month."
"Help keep your home and family safe from fire by installing and testing smoke alarms," said Goodwin. "So many lives can be saved by ensuring that home smoke alarms are installed in the proper locations and that they all work."
According data reported to the Office of State Fire Marshal, North Carolina had more than 9,000 home fires last year; investigators later determined that there were no working smoke alarms in many of those homes.
Follow these smoke alarm safety tips:
- 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.
- Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms, so when one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a 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 (3 meters) from the stove.
- Families should create a home fire escape plan and practice it on Family Fire Drill Day, Oct. 8. Find instructions at bit.ly/home-escape.
On Oct. 4, N.C. Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal personnel will be partnering with volunteers from the American Red Cross, North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry, North Carolina Baptist Men, Sampson County Fire Marshal's Office, Sampson County Fireman's Association, Kidde United Technologies, Nationwide Insurance Company and volunteers from more than 20 local fire departments to provide at-risk homes in Sampson County with smoke alarms and fire prevention education.
Families can attend the Office of State Fire Marshal's "Family Fire Safety Shows" each day of the North Carolina State Fair (Oct. 16-26) where they will see fun, educational shows performed by fire department personnel from around the state.
In addition, the public can help celebrate Fire Prevention Week by attending events in their local communities. Many local fire departments will be holding open houses, giving firehouse tours and visiting classrooms. Visit your fire department's website or go to www.ncdoi.com/fireprevention for a list of events near you.