OUR VIEW: Fire Prevention Week emphasizes importance of smoke alarms

From 2007-2011, three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires in home without working smoke alarms.

That’s why we’re joining the governor’s office in urging residents to install smoke alarms in every bedroom of their homes and on every level.

Oct. 4-10 is  Fire Prevention Week and aims to emphasize the importance of multiple smoke alarms in a residence.

The early warning that smoke alarms provide allows extra time for families to escape, especially children and senior citizens.

An average of three children per day die in home fires and 80 percent of those occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

Children are at an increased risk of dying in a home fire because they can become scared and confused when a fire erupts.

Area fire departments are hosting events this weekend to create awareness.

The City of Manistee and Filer Township fire departments are hosting open houses from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at their respective departments.

Manistee Township Fire Department is offering a Fire Prevention Program from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday at the fire hall.

We urge everyone to attend one of these important events and take the necessary steps to improve fire safety in their home.

The state fire marshal along with the NFPA recommends the following fire safety tips:

· Choose a smoke alarm that bears the label of a recognized testing laboratory;

· Hardwired smoke alarms are more reliable than those powered solely by batteries;

· For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms so when one sounds they all sound;

· Use both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms, also known as dual sensor alarms. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires;

· Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by using the test button;

· Replace batteries once a year; and

· Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.

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