Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic fire in 1871 that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871. Each year there is a theme to promote an aspect of fire prevention. The theme this year is “Hear The Beep Where You Sleep.” A smoke alarm is an object on the wall that is often not paid attention to but it is important to test the smoke alarm every month to ensure it is operational and has fresh batteries.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends there be a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and one on every level of the house. Besides testing every alarm, it is recommended that the smoke alarms be replaced every 10 years. In 2007-2011, smoke alarms only sounded in half the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments. Another astounding fact on the NFPA website is, three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fire in homes with no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm. Make a monthly schedule to check your smoke alarms in the house and let’s lower the statistics of fire related deaths that could have been prevented by having a smoke alarm in the house.
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1. Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Jessie R. Box, September 29, 2015. The Madison Fire Rescue firefighters, pictured left to right, are: Brian Hausherr, Freddie Moore and Lt. Matthew LaMendola.
2. Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Jessie R. Box, September 29, 2015. The Madison Fire Rescue firefighters, pictured left to right, are: Lt. Dan Studstill, Katie Burnett and Andy Tellefsen.
3. Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Jessie R. Box, October 1, 2015. The Madison Fire Rescue firefighters, pictured left to right, are: Chris Johnson, Socrates Pierre, Fire Chief Bruce Jordan, Ethan Shannon and Gavin Dickinson.