Columbia Fire will start spreading this year’s Fire Prevention Week message; “Don’t Wait-Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” a week early to ensure communities are informed.
Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins announced today the Columbia Fire Department will host its 19th Annual Fire Prevention Parade in honor of Fire Prevention Week October 9-15, 2016, on Monday, October 3rd beginning at 11am. The parade will start at Main & Laurel Streets and travel south ending at Main & Gervais Streets.
Fire Departments from around the state will be participating in the parade along with fire and life safety businesses and other community partners to showcase some of their resources in the effort to protect and save lives, property and the environment.
The Columbia Fire Department’s mission this year for Fire Prevention Week is to remind our citizens “Don’t Wait-Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” Unfortunately, many home fire deaths are a result from fires where a smoke alarm is present but does not operate. Having a working smoke alarm in the home reduces the risk of dying in a fire by 50%!
Does your home have a smoke alarm? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer is likely yes: NFPA research shows that most American homes have at least one. But do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If you’re like most people, you’re probably not so sure.
A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern for the Columbia Fire Department and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.
“Time and again, I’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” says Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate our residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”
As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, NFPA and the Columbia Fire Department are promoting this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” to better educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old. Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016.
To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). The Columbia Fire Department also says smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and that batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low.
For more information on smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.