October is fire prevention month and this year the theme is:
Don’t wait – Check the date! Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly two-thirds of deaths from home fires occur in properties without working smoke detectors. (1)
Genesis of fire prevention month
In May 1919, to observe past fire tragedies – such as the great Chicago fire – and to prevent future tragedies, the Fire Marshals Association of North America sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day. This event began an annual observance as a way to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.
The proclamation of fire prevention week
In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first national fire prevention day proclamation. Since 1922, fire prevention week has been observed the second week of October, from Sunday through Saturday. Since 1925, every United States President has signed a proclamation declaring fire prevention week as a national observance.
The smoke detector
This year’s theme is Don’t wait – Check the date! Replace smoke alarms every 10 Years. Generally, smoke detectors are round and approximately six inches in diameter. There are two types of smoke detectors: optical or ionization. Smoke detectors can be individual battery-powered units that can be mounted in any location, or several interlinked powered units with battery backup that can report to a fire panel. (2)
Smoke detectors should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture, which is located on the back of the alarm. The best way to remember to change out your smoke detector is to write the “change date” on the plastic housing with an indelible black marker.
Mounting is critical
Smoke detectors should ideally be mounted on the ceiling in the hallway near sleeping rooms, as well within each sleeping room above the doorway.
Don’t wait – Check the date! Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. A few minutes of prevention can result in saving your life and the lives of those you love.
If you have questions or concerns if your residence or business is properly equipped please leave us a comment or question.
- “Learn About Smoke Alarms”. USFA.FEMA.gov. 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
Lorne Brunner, MS Forensics, IAAI-CFI, Unified Investigations & Sciences, Inc., a Sedgwick company