Half — yes, 50 percent! — of all U.S. home fire deaths occur at night between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when people are most likely to be sleeping. That’s why National Fire Prevention Week October 9-15 is the perfect time to check the smoke alarms in your home.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, a lot of people have misconceptions about their smoke alarms, which can save lives — but only if they work. About 60 percent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or alarms that don’t work. When smoke alarms fail, missing or dead batteries are usually to blame.
When was the last time you check your smoke alarm? Here are steps you can take to make sure your family is safe:
- Change the battery on your smoke detector every time we spring forward or fall back for Daylight Saving Time.
- Smoke alarms should be tested once per month.
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.
Fire Prevention Resources
Fire Prevention Week is organized by NFPA to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The NFPA has some useful resources on its website for parents and teachers, like the infographic and video below, plus fun quizzes and more!
Sparky the Fire Dog® shows how to find out the age of a smoke alarm. Courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association.