Working smoke alarms save lives

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Mark Wyatt
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The 157th Civil Engineering Squadron Fire Department will recognize Fire Prevention Week Oct. 5 through 11 on base by reminding all base employees to test their fire alarm monthly. This year's Fire Prevention Week theme is "Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month."

Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, the fire department is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association during Fire Prevention Week to remind local residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home and testing them monthly.

According to the latest NFPA research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

"In a fire, seconds count," said Senior Master Sgt. William Hardekopf, 157 CES Fire Department chief. "Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out."

This year's Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:

· Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
· Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
· Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
· Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don't respond properly.
· Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

Fire Prevention Week was established in 1927 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire that took place Oct. 8-9, 1871. During that fire, more than 250 people died 100,000 left homeless and the fire destroyed 17,400 structures.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities at Pease, please contact the Fire Department at 603-430-2749.

For further information on smoke alarms, visit NFPA's Web site at