SPRINGFIELD—The state fire marshall is urging families to take time to learn about important steps in fire safety during National Fire Prevention Week through this Saturday. This year’s theme focuses on the importance of having a family escape plan in the event of a fire emergency.
Fire departments across the country responded to 1,331,500 fires in 2010—384,000 of which were residential fires. These fires caused about 13,350 injuries and 2,640 deaths.
To make your home safer, consider at least one smoke alarm located on every level of the home, including the basement, as well as in every sleeping room and within 15 feet outside each sleeping area.
The NFPA recommends either installing combination smoke alarms, or both ionization and photoelectric alarms, in the home. An ionization alarm is typically more responsive to a flaming fire, such as a pan fire. A photoelectric alarm is typically more responsive to a smoldering fire, as might occur where a lighted cigarette is dropped on a sofa.
Be sure to test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries when you hear the alarm “chirp.” Smoke alarms older than 10 years should be replaced.
For more information about fire safety, visit sfm.illinois.gov.