Reminder: replace smoke alarms regularly
The New Milford Fire Marshal’s Office has issued a reminder about smoke alarms.
The reminder comes on the heels of Fire Prevention Week, which ran Oct. 9-15.
As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) promoted 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.
According to the NFPA, research shows that most American homes have at least one smoke alarm.
But do most people know how old their smoke alarm is?
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.
“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,” said Brian Ohmen, fire marshal of the town of New Milford.
NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years. But because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.
To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, 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 New Milford Fire Marshal Office staff also said 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, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.