October 9-15 Is Fire Prevention Week
Oct 07, 2016 02:45PM
● By Theresa Gilman
Fire Prevention Week
(Editor's Note: this information is from the Massachusetts Fire Department Services.)
“Every smoke alarm has an expiration date. Do you know when yours expire?” asked State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. The theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, Don’t Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,educates the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old. Smoke alarms, like other appliances in your home, don’t last forever. Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016.
“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 Ostroskey. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Massachusetts residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have an expiration date.”
How to Find Out How Old a Smoke Alarm Is
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. Most smoke alarms should be replaced ten years from that date (not the date of purchase). Ostroskey said, “Most smoke alarms last about ten years, but some are less, so it’s important to check with the manufacturer to know when the alarms in your home expire.” Smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and alkaline batteries should be replaced at least once a year or when the alarm begins to chirp, signaling the battery is running low.
Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme complements the on-going public awareness campaign in Massachusetts: Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With, that focuses on replacing aging smoke alarms. The campaign includes a television PSA (https://youtu.be/T5sokhbKN3Y) and toolkit for local fire department. For more information on smoke alarms, go to www.mass.gov/dfsand type “smoke alarms” in the search box.
What to Look for When Buying New Smoke Alarms
- Look for alarms with 10-year, sealed, non-rechargeable, non-replaceable batteries. The entire unit, the smoke alarm and the battery, will need to be replaced at the end of ten years, and the alarm will give an end-of-life warning.
- Select alarms that are photoelectric, or photoelectric in combination with ionization or carbon monoxide alarms.
- Select alarms with a hush button feature, so that nuisance alarms can be quieted without disabling the entire alarm. Intensifying smoke will override the hush feature.
“The goal is to have working smoke alarms when you really need them. Choosing alarms that are easier to keep in good working order, reduces the reasons to disable them,” said Ostroskey