Fire Prevention Week is October 9-11

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, hardwired smoke alarms worked 93 percent of the time while battery powered alarms worked only 79 percent of the time in fires considered large enough to activate a smoke alarm. When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead. Also, two-thirds of all fire deaths each year occur in homes without a working smoke alarm. This is why this year's Fire Prevention Week theme is, "Working smoke alarms save lives. Test yours every month."

Knowing the different types of smoke alarms available can help you tailor your fire prevention efforts to your needs. For instance, an ionization smoke alarm is most effective in flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is most effective in smoldering fires. Learn more about the features of each and see a diagram of how they work by going to the NFPA website.

With Halloween at the end of the month, keep these fire prevention tips in mind as you plan community events or decorate town hall, recreation centers or parks.

  • Use LED lights instead of candles or torchlights for walkways and grounds. Passing trick-or-treaters" costumes may brush against lighting.

  • Keep highly flammable dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper away from heat sources like light bulbs or heaters.

  • Use battery operated candles in jack-o-lanterns and other lighted decorations. Be sure to place jack-o-lanterns well away from anything that can burn.

  • Keep exits clear of decorations so escape routes are not blocked.

  • Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw away damaged sets and don't overload extension cords.

  • Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website for the latest on Halloween-related product recalls.

  • Remove any materials around the property, such as garbage or excess vegetation, which an arsonist could use to start a fire.

  • After the event, check areas where people were smoking to make sure discarded cigarettes are extinguished.