Fire Prevention Week, Urges Smoke Alarm Replacement
The County of Maui, Department of Fire and Public Safety urges all Maui County residents to find out how old their smoke alarms are, and to replace them every 10 years.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, research shows that most american homes have at least one smoke alarm, but only a small percentage of people know how old theirs are or how often they need to be replaced.
That lack of awareness is a concern for the Maui Fire Department and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.
“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 Maui Fire Chief Jeffery Murray. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Maui County 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, placing people at increased risk, fire officials said.
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.
Fire Prevention Demonstrations: Sept. 30 in Lahaina; Oct. 28 in Kahului
The County of Maui, Department of Fire and Public Safety is hosting a fire prevention demonstration at the Lahaina Recreation Park, Field 7 on Sept. 30 at 9:30 a.m., and at the Keōpūolani Horse Shoe Pit on Oct. 28 at 9:30 a.m., in support of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign.
The events will include a fire safety presentation, ‘Tools of the Trade” exhibition, fire truck displays, the Air 1 rescue helicopter, and a visit from Sparky the Fire Dog and Smokey Bear.
How to determine your smoke alarm’s expiration date:
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 Maui Fire Department strongly urges that smoke alarms be tested monthly, and that batteries 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 or contact Parrish Purdy, Fire Inspector and Public Education Officer at (808) 876-4697.