Sara Swanson

Manchester Township Fire Department will use upcoming open house to promote smoke alarm safety

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Photo of Fire Pup courtesy of Manchester Township Fire Department.

Photo of Fire Pup courtesy of Manchester Township Fire Department.

Every smoke alarm has an expiration date: What’s yours?

The Manchester Township Fire Department urges all Manchester area residents to know how old their smoke alarms are, and to replace them every 10 years.

Does your home have a smoke alarm? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer is likely yes: NFPA research shows that most American homes have at least one. But do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If you’re like most people, you’re probably not so sure. 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. That lack of awareness is a concern for Manchester Township Fire Department and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.

To celebrate Fire Prevention Week, the Manchester Township Fire Department will be hosting an open house on Sunday, October 16 from 1 to 3 pm to promote “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” Through educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of checking the expiration date on every smoke alarm in the home. There will also be equipment displays, a smoke house and kids young and old will be able to spray a working fire hose. A Survival Flight helicopter is also tentatively scheduled to be on site at approximately 12:45 – 1 pm, barring any emergencies to which they may be called to respond. The Manchester Township Fire Department is located at 275 South Macomb Street.

2016-fpw-logoSmoke alarms can have a life-saving impact in a home fire, but tragedy can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly. That’s why there is a concerted effort to educate residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit. 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.

As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, NFPA is promoting 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. Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016.

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. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). The fire department also says 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, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

Survival Flight. Photo courtesy of Manchester Township Fire Department.

Survival Flight is scheduled to make an appearance at the open house from 12:45 to 1 pm Sunday. Photo courtesy of Manchester Township Fire Department.

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