Did you know your smoke alarm has an expiration date of 10 years? A recent survey conducted by the Fire Protection Association (NFPA) revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern because smoke alarms don’t last forever. That's why the theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week is "Don’t Wait, Check the Date".
“Time and again, I’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” said Palo Alto Fire Chief Eric Nickel. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort this year to educate the community about the importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”
The Palo Alto Fire Department and NFPA are promoting a series of events designed to educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them after 10 years.
The Palo Alto Fire Department is hosting a “Street Side Aide” and several open house events aimed at families, students, downtown residents, workers and visitors.
Street Side Aide, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., City Hall King Plaza
The Palo Alto Fire Department will host a Street Side Aide event offering safety talks about smoke alarms, fire evacuation drills and planning for emergencies in the home. There will also be demonstrations on smoke alarms at City Hall King Plaza, 250 Hamilton Avenue.
Fire Station Open Houses
A series of Fire Station Open Houses are geared towards connecting with students after school. The events take place at neighborhood fire stations throughout Palo Alto:
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 3 – 6 p.m. Fire Station #3 at 799 Embarcadero Road
Thursday, Oct. 13, 3 – 6 p.m. Fire Station #4 at 3600 Middlefield Road
An Open House will also take place on the weekend, and is designed for children and their parents and families:
Saturday, Oct. 15, 12 – 3 p.m. Fire Station #2 at 2675 Hanover Street
To find out how old your smoke alarm is, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date. The Palo Alto Fire Department also recommends smoke alarms should be tested monthly and those batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp.
For more information on smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”, visit: http://www.nfpa.org/fpw or http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/fir/default.asp.
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