October is Fire Prevention Month and the history of National Fire Prevention Week started on October 9th 1871 with the Great Chicago Fire. In two days the Great Chicago Fire destroyed half of the existing city, leaving 300 dead and 100,000 homeless.
Many home fire deaths result from fires where a smoke alarm is present but does not operate. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme focuses on motivating people to test their smoke alarms each month to make sure they’re working properly.
According to NFPA statistics:
- Having a working smoke alarm in the home cuts the risk of dying in a fire in half.
- On average each year, three out of five home fire deaths result in fires where there are either no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- In one-quarter (23 percent) of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound.
- Nearly 3,000 people continue to die in fires each year, with most of those deaths occurring in homes. The vast majority of home fire deaths are preventable, and working smoke alarms play a big role in helping reduce those numbers.
- Installing smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Testing all smoke alarms every month by using the test button.
- Replacing all smoke alarms every 10 years or sooner if they don’t respond properly when tested.
Do You need CO detectors?
CO detectors are designed to measure CO levels over time and sound an alarm before dangerous levels of CO accumulate, giving people enough time to ventilate the area or evacuate. CO is a colorless, tasteless and odorless compound produced by incomplete combustion of carbon containing materials. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it is virtually undetectable without using detection technology and most people do not realise they are being poisoned. Some common sources of CO include open flames, space heaters, water heaters, blocked chimneys or running a car inside a garage.
While CO detectors do not serve as smoke detectors and vice versa, dual smoke/CO detectors are also sold. Smoke detectors detect the smoke generated by flaming or smoldering fires, whereas CO detectors detect and warn people about dangerous CO buildup.
REMEMBER: Smoke and Co Detectors SAVE LIVES!