Taylor firefighters reinforce new smoke alarm recommendations in Fire Prevention Month

In an effort to better educate Taylor residents during Fire Prevention Month, the Taylor Fire Department supports smoke alarm recommendations from the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!” is the theme for October 2010.

“Many homes in the City Of Taylor may not have any smoke alarms, not enough smoke alarms, alarms that are too old, or alarms that are not working,” said Taylor Fire Chief Stephen Portis. “We want residents to understand that working smoke alarms are needed in every home, on every level (including the basement), outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom. And, if a smoke alarm is 10 years old or older, it needs to be replaced.”

According to Chief Portis, smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. Statistics from NFPA show that working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire nearly in half. But they must be working properly to do so. The association’s data shows that many homes have smoke alarms that aren’t working or maintained properly, usually because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Roughly two-thirds of all home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

The City of Taylor Fire Department will broadcast fire prevention videos on local cable television -- Channel 12 on Comcast and Channel 10 on WOW -- during Fire Prevention Month to promote “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!” and to help Taylor residents understand NFPA’s smoke alarm recommendations. Through these educational, family-oriented videos, residents can learn more about the power of smoke alarms, newer options for installing and maintaining them properly, and ultimately, how to better protect their loved ones from fire. In addition, residents are encouraged to watch the “Rainbow Valley Fire Department” animated fire prevention series on the local cable channels.

On Wednesday, October 27, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. the Taylor Professional Firefighters Union and Toarmina’s Pizza of Taylor are sponsoring the first “Pizza and Prevention” event. During this event, a firefighter may deliver your pizza and install a new smoke alarm in your home. Firefighters will be at Toarmina’s on 11054 Allen Road during the event to sell and deliver giant 24-inch pizzas for only $15.99 (a $5 savings) with 100 percent of the profits going to fire prevention. Special coupons for the giant pizza will also be available during the event and may be used at any time.  

NFPA and the Taylor Fire Department agree that interconnected smoke alarms offer the best protection. When one alarm sounds, they all do. This is particularly important in larger or multi-story homes, where the sound from distant smoke alarms may be reduced to the point that it may not be loud enough to provide proper warning, especially for sleeping individuals.

“Most people have a sense of complacency about smoke alarms because they already have one in their homes," said Judy Comoletti, division manager for NFPA public education. "Fire Prevention Month provides an excellent opportunity to re-educate people about smoke alarms, new technologies and expanded options for installation and maintenance. Ultimately, we want this year’s campaign to serve as a call to action for households nationwide to inspect their homes to ensure that their families have the full smoke alarm protection that’s recommended.”

The Taylor Fire Department offers the following tips for making sure smoke alarms are maintained and working properly:

  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
  • If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
  • Ten-year lithium battery smoke alarms are a “sound” replacement choice for older nine-volt battery units. Ten-year battery smoke alarms cost about $15.
  • Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Month programs and activities in Taylor, please contact the Taylor Fire Department at (734) 374-1355 or www.cityoftaylor.com/fire. To learn more about “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!,” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.