by Fire Chief David Donan
JBER Fire Emergency Services
10/9/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Smoke alarms Op/Ed
By Fire Chief David Donan
If I asked you where your smoke alarms are in your home, could you tell
me? If you're like many people, you may not pay much attention to where
smoke alarms have been installed. However, location matters when it
comes to smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms should be installed inside each bedroom, outside each
sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
Working smoke alarms are a critical fire-safety tool that can mean the
difference between life and death in a home fire. According to the
non-profit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoke alarms can
cut the chance of dying in a home fire in half. Meanwhile, NFPA data
shows that home fires killed 2,755 people in 2013, an average of 8
people every day that year. Many of these deaths could have been
prevented with the proper smoke alarm protection.
As a member of the fire service for 32 years, I've seen the devastating
effects of fire first-hand; the burn injuries, the loss of homes and
possessions are distressing. What's even worse is witnessing a family's
anguish after a loved one has been killed in a fire. It's heartbreaking.
As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, 2015,
NFPA is promoting "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a
Working Smoke Alarm!" to better educate the public about the true value
of working smoke alarms in the bedroom. In support of these efforts,
JBER Fire Emergency Services will be hosting local campaign activities
throughout the week.
My sincere hope is that all JBER residents participate in one or more of
our Fire Prevention Week activities, and make sure there are working
smoke alarms installed throughout their homes. These simple steps can
help make a life-saving difference, and prevent the potentially
life-threatening impact of fire.
Here are additional smoke alarm tips to follow:
·Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping
area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
·Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
·Test alarms each month by pushing the test button.
·Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year old
batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if
they do not respond properly.
·Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound and understands what to do when they hear the smoke alarm.
·If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
·Go do your outside meeting place. Call the fire department from outside the home.
To learn more about the "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours
Every Month!" campaign, visit NFPA's Web site at
www.firepreventionweek.org and www.sparky.org/fpw
Chief David T. Donan
JBER Fire Emergency Services