FIRE SMART: Check your fire alarms

Fire Prevention Week is from today to Saturday this year

Fire Prevention Week is from today to Saturday this year and has been a significant annual event for the fire service since 1922, when it was started to honour the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

The strategy of remembering a fire that cost 250 people their lives and left 10,000 people homeless while destroying over 17,400 structures and burning over 2,000 acres has allowed the fire service a chance to emanate the urgency and the importance of fire safety for a week each year since.

The theme this year is “Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!” and with that in mind, Vernon Fire Rescue Services would like to pass on the following smoke alarm tips from the National Fire Protection Agency:

Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.

Test your smoke alarms monthly.

When a smoke alarms sounds, get outside and stay outside.

Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years. To determine the age of your smoke alarm, look at the back where you will find the date of manufacture. Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture.

Immediately replace any smoke alarm that does not respond properly when tested.

Working smoke alarms save lives, cutting the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Smoke alarms should be installed and maintained in every home.

There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quick to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.

Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.

Plan your escape:

Your ability to get out of your house during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.

Lawrie Skolrood is a deputy fire chief with Vernon Fire Rescue.