“Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!” is NFPA’s official theme for Fire Prevention Week (FPW), October 3-9. If you’re wondering why NFPA, the official sponsor of FPW for nearly 90 years, is focusing on smoke alarms when most homes already have at least one, you’ve come to the right place!

This year’s campaign is designed to educate people about the importance of smoke alarms and encourages everyone to take the steps necessary to update and maintain their home smoke alarm protection. For more information please go to www.firepreventionweek.org.

Reproduced from NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week Web site, www.firepreventionweek.org ©2010 NFPA.

Smoke Detector Tips

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Make sure there is an alarm near every sleeping area.
  • Smoke rises, so smoke alarms should be mounted high on walls or ceilings. Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed 4-12 inches away from the ceiling.
  • Test each smoke alarm every month. Push the test button until you hear a loud noise.
  • Put new batteries in your smoke alarms at least twice a year. A good way to remember is to replace the batteries when you change your clocks.

Carbon Monoxide Can Be Deadly

You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. If appliances that burn fuel are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars. Fetuses, infants, elderly people, and people with anemia or with a history of heart or respiratory disease can be especially susceptible. Be safe. Practice the DO’s and DON’Ts of carbon monoxide.

What to do if your carbon monoxide detector goes off

If your carbon monoxide detector alarm goes off, go outside and call 9-1-1. If you need medical attention, tell the emergency responders that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, and follow their advice.

Once you have had your home or apartment checked, it is important to take action to correct any detected problems.

More information on carbon monoxide http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/coftsht.html