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Fire Prevention Week: Safety Tips for Adults



October 5, 2010 -- Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) is celebrating the second day of Fire Prevention Week!

Video courtesy of NFPA's Fire Prevention Week Website

The goal this week is to provide smoke alarm recommendations and ways citizens can protect them and their loved ones from fire on PF&R’s Fire Blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Topics will include safety tips for kids and adults, fast facts about smoke alarms and fire, teacher materials and lesson plans, testing your smoke alarm, and public service announcements on home smoke alarm basics and safety tips.

PF&R will also begin a city-wide smoke alarm campaign on Saturday, October 9, 2010 to educate citizens on the importance of smoke alarms.  For a limited time, PF&R will provide free alarms funded through a grant to citizens who make request at their local fire station. Additional information about the campaign will be provided throughout the week.




Safety Tips for Adults

  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home (including the basement), outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. Larger homes may need additional smoke alarms. Never remove or disable smoke alarms.
  • Interconnection of smoke alarms is highly recommended; when one smoke 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.) A licensed electrician can install hard-wired multiple-station alarms. Wireless alarms, which manufacturers have more recently begun producing, can be installed by the homeowner.
  • There are two types of smoke alarm technologies – ionization and photoelectric. The two types of smoke alarms sense smoke differently, but experts agree that working smoke alarms of any type save lives.  It’s the simple truth. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires – like a pan fire or the smoke from cooking. A photoelectric alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires – like a cigarette, overheated wiring or something hot like a space heater. Install both types of alarms in your home or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms that take advantage of both technologies.
  • Test smoke alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.  If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • All smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and those that are hard-wired alarms, should be replaced when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
  • Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.

Reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week Web site, ©2010 NFPA."


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