Fire Prevention Week Addresses Need for Smoke Alarms in Every Bedroom

Editor’s note: This is the second of three 2015 posts about fire safety and deals with the importance of smoke alarms. Look for an upcoming article about avoiding turkey-fryer fires.

It’s catchy. It rhymes. It’s designed to raise public awareness about home fires and how to help prevent them.

Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm is the theme for this year’s National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week, held Oct. 4 to 10.

“While we’ve long suspected that many people don’t know they need a smoke alarm in each bedroom, the questionnaire we posted last year confirmed those suspicions,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy, in an article on the organization’s web site. “Fire Prevention Week presents the perfect opportunity to better educate the public about this potentially life-saving message.”

Photo credit: svengine via istockphoto.com

Photo credit: svengine via istockphoto.com

According to the NFPA, half of all U.S. home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when people are most likely sleeping. Additionally, three out of every five U.S. home fire deaths resulted from blazes in homes with either no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Having a working fire alarm in the home cuts the risk of dying in half.

Crawford & Company will take its part this week in helping educate Atlanta-area residents about the importance of having working smoke detectors in the home. On Oct. 10, about 200 employees in the Atlanta Support Center will gear up to support the NFPA’s campaign during Crawford’s Atlanta Global Day of Service. Crawford will partner with the American Red Cross and the Smyrna, Ga., Fire Department to help:

  • Test and install smoke alarms as needed
  • Educate residents on fire safety
  • Assist with the development of a home fire escape plan

Research shows that many Americans have a false sense of security about surviving a home fire. Sadly, though, seven people die in a home fire each day. Fire experts agree that a person has as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too; but 82 percent of Americans have not practiced home fire drills.

Fire Safety Week Roots Stem from Great Chicago Fire

According to the National Archives and Records Administration ‘s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest-running public health and safety observance on record and has been observed in the U.S. since 1925.

It was established by President Woodrow Wilson to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. That fire, which occurred on Oct. 8, killed more than 250 people; left 100,000 homeless; destroyed more than 17,400 structures; and burned more than 2,000 acres.

Did You Know?

Each year in the United States, more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires. Resulting property loss caused by home fires is estimated at $3.7 billion annually.

Let us hear from you: When is the last time you checked whether your smoke alarms worked? Do you have a fire-safety plan and if so, are your family members familiar with it?

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