RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin launched 2015 Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 4-10, by urging everyone to uphold this year's campaign theme, "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!"
"About half of home fire deaths occur in the late night and early morning hours, when most people are asleep in bed," said Goodwin. "That's why it's so important for every family member to be able to hear a smoke alarm from where they sleep."
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported, that between 2009 and 2013, an average 940 deaths per year occurred in homes with no smoke alarms, while an additional 510 occurred in homes with smoke alarms that failed to operate. This accounts for 59 percent of all home fire deaths.
Follow these smoke alarm safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
- Have smoke alarms in every level of your home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms.
- Install interconnected smoke alarms. When one alarm sounds, they all sound. Choose smoke alarms that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Never paint smoke alarms. Paint, stickers or other decorations could keep the alarms from working.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to make sure it's working.
- Never disconnect or take the batteries out of your smoke alarm.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries should last 10 years. If the alarm chirps, replace it with a new alarm.
- For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace the battery once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace the battery right away.
Families can attend the Office of State Fire Marshal's "Family Fire Safety Shows" each day of the North Carolina State Fair (Oct. 15-25) 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.
Learn more about Fire Prevention at www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/SafeKids/fireprevention/Default.aspx