October 4-10, 2015 is Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm reminds us about the importance of having working smoke alarms in our homes, including bedrooms, and testing them monthly. While smoke alarms are only required in bedrooms of newly constructed one- and two-family homes in Massachusetts, it is a good recommendation for everyone, especially smokers and heavy sleepers.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in fires in half by giving you time to escape deadly smoke and flames. For more information, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.
Almost half of all fire deaths occur in one- and two-family homes where in many cases there were no working smoke alarms. Take the simple step of making sure there are working smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. Consider installing smoke alarms inside bedrooms, especially for smokers or heavy sleepers. Test smoke alarms monthly; replace alkaline batteries twice a year, when we change our clocks. Replace all smoke alarms that are ten years old. It is important to have and practice a home escape plan to be able to get everyone out quickly and safely in a fire.
Protect Your Family at Home: Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms
Fires in Massachusetts
No one thinks fire will happen to them, yet according to data from the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS), there were 31,229 fires reported in Massachusetts during 2012 causing 39 civilian deaths, 322 civilian injuries, 531 fire service injuries and an estimated $257 million in property damage.
Winning Teen Video on Smoke Alarms
Check out this video created by students from Melrose High School that won first place in the Department of Fire Services’ 2013-14 YouTube™ Video Contest.
Important Additional Resources for the Public and Fire Educators:
- Practicing Home Fire Drills – Make use of the time working smoke alarms provide!
- Cooking Fire & Burn Safety – Cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home.
- Electrical Safety – Electrical fires are a leading cause of fires and a major cause of fire deaths.
- Fire Safety Topics Index – DFS has information and flyers on a variety of fire safety topics.
- SAFE Kids USA® also offers resources on fire prevention.
- Multi-Lingual and Multi-Cultural Fire Safety - easy –to-read fact sheets on fire safety in a variety of languages.
- Young Heroes - read about youngsters who have saved themselves and others in real-life emergencies using what they learned in school.
- Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) - Many fire departments work with classroom teachers to present fire safety lessons through this program.
- Resources for Fire Educators – DFS resources for fire educators to help them develop fire safety programs including the Curriculum Planning Guidebook, Fire Safety Houses, and other educational tools.
Call 1-877-9NO-FIRE to reach the Public Education Hotline in the Division of Fire Safety.