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October is here and that means Fire Prevention Week! Fire Prevention Week was established in remembrance of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people and left 100,000 homeless. The Great Chicago Fire started on October 8, 1871, but did most of the damage on October 9th, so Prevention Week is held on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9th falls each year. Celebrated October 9-15 in 2016, this year’s message is “Don’t wait check the date!” This year’s campaign is about educating the public on the life span of smoke detectors. Ten years from the date of manufacture is the max life span of a detector. The date is easy to check too, the date of manufacture is printed on the back of the detector. If you’re still on the fence and or just don’t think smoke detectors are that important, here are some notable facts from the National Fire Protection Association to try and persuade you otherwise;

~Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep, but could be awoken by a smoke detector.

~One quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom, another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den(all places that should have a smoke detector present).

~Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

~Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths, and can easily set off smoke detctors.

~Three out of five home fire deaths in 2009-2013 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

~Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.

~When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.

So hopefully we’ve scared you into checking your smoke detectors at home. If you find one that needs changed and you don’t know quite what to get here’s a little help. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended. Also be sure to mount them on the ceiling or high on the wall for best results. We hope these tips are useful and help you select and properly care for your detectors. 

Well, that's about it for this month. Until next time, don't forget to wave to the guys in the BRT.