October 9-15, 2016, is Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.” Smoke alarms do not last forever. Check the manufacture date on the back of your alarms. If it is older than 10 years, replace the alarm. It may still sound, but the sensors become less sensitive after 10 years.
Remove the smoke alarm from the ceiling or wall. Look at the back of the alarm to find the date of manufacture. Has it been 10 years since it was made? Time to replace it! If the alarm is still young, note the date and put it back on the ceiling or wall.
Take the time during this week to test your smoke alarms. Push the test button on each smoke alarm to make sure it sounds. If it doesn’t, replace the battery. Test all of your smoke alarms each month. Make sure you have an alarm on every level of your home, inside and outside each sleeping area and in the basement.
Sit down with everyone in your home and discuss your home fire escape plan. As you make this plan, consider the following questions:
- Does everyone know two ways out of each room, in case one is blocked by fire?
- Does anyone in your home need assistance to get out quickly? If so, who will help them?
- Can everyone get themselves out alone?
- Do you have a meeting place outside your home?
- Once you have developed a home fire escape plan, practice your plan. You will not be sure everyone can get out if you haven’t practiced.