Fire Safety Week: Augusta Fire Department encouraging community to check their smoke alarms

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s National Fire Prevention Week. It’s a week organized by the National Fire Protection Agency.

This year’s focus is on smoke alarms.

“Big thing about smoke alarms, they are your first line of defense in regards to fire safety. They are the devices that will help reduce injury, possibly prevent death. They are your most important fire safety device in your home,” said Jason DeHart, Augusta Fire’s Public Information Officer.

For Fire Safety Week, the Augusta Fire Department is putting up videos on social media to teach the community about fire alarm placement, testing, what to do when the alarm goes off, and the different types of smoke alarms.

“Take the time this week… test them, check the manufacture date, see if they are still within operation, because you’d be surprised if you pulled that off and you see a fire alarm with the manufacturer date of 2010 and some people will say, well, it’s still working; but it’s past the manufacturer expiration date and the reality is that smoke alarm needs to be replaced,” said Dehart.

To demonstrate the importance of fire safety, I had DeHart stop by my house for an inspection.

“We found that there was one smoke alarm in your residence. The reality is there should probably be between two or three based off of NFP recommendations. When it comes to smoke alarms, it’s really about three different things: it’s about location, it’s about the total numbers that are there, and then are they working. Working means are they battery operated or are they hard wired. Yours were hard wired with a battery back up, which is possibly the best recommendation you can do. It’s about longevity. Smoke alarms have an average life span of somewhere around 5 to 10 years, some about 3 years. So, always check your manufacturer recommendations on that. You can tell when they were manufactured by pulling the smoke alarm off and there’s a date on the back,” said DeHart.

While DeHart inspected my smoke alarms, another question came to my mind about a different fire safety device.

How important is it to have a fire extinguisher in your house and to know how to use it?

“Having a fire extinguisher or having a carbon monoxide detector in your home, those are all good options to have. When it comes to a fire extinguisher, you want to make sure that you understand and use the pass method, in regards to using it, which is to pull the pin, to aim the hose at the base of the fire, to squeeze the handle, and then to sweep from left to right at the base of the fire,” said DeHart.

Fire safety is important for you and your loved ones. That why the Augusta Fire Department is asking the community to take fire safety seriously.

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