Vicksburg Fire offers tips during annual Fire Prevention Week
Published 9:38 am Monday, October 10, 2016
Don’t wait, check the date.
The Vicksburg Fire Department in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association are encouraging people to check the date on their smoke detectors during Fire Prevention Week, which began Sunday and continues through Saturday, Oct. 15.
“Time and again, I’ve seen the lifesaving 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,” Vicksburg fire Chief Charles Atkins said in a press release. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Vicksburg/Warren residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”
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It is required by the NFPA in the National Fire Alarm Code to replace smoke alarms at least every 10 years because the older a smoke alarm gets, the more likely it is to not work properly.
“They get old and need to be replaced,” said Nathaniel Williams, fire inspector for the Vicksburg Fire Department. “Sometimes dust gets in them and the dust will cover up the sensor.”
To replace a fire alarm, Williams said those alarms that are wired should be replaced by an electrician, and alarms that are battery powered can be replaced by the owner by purchasing a new one at a hardware store.
“The fire department will, if it’s in the county, we will come in an install it for you,” Williams said.
It is recommended to test alarms every month and to replace the batteries in the alarm at least every year. However, Williams said a good method to use when replacing smoke alarm batteries is to do it when the time changes twice a year.
“We say every time the time changes, or every six months,” Williams said.
The age of the smoke alarm can be calculated using the date of manufacture and should be found marked on the back of the device. The manufacturing date is when the 10 years begins and not the date when the alarm is purchased. When installing a new device, it is good to make sure the manufacture date can clearly be found on the back of the alarm so the owner knows when to replace it again.
A community event for preschool children will be held Friday, Oct. 14 at the Purks YMCA, 267 YMCA Place, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Fun, learning, prizes and food are promised to participants who come to spend some time with local firemen.
Williams said the children will participate in activities to help teach them about fire safety. To register to attend the event, call 601-634-4566.
On Monday, Oct. 24 from 9 to 11 a.m. firefighter Dayna Hilton and Mollie, the fire safety dog from firesafetydogs.com, will visit Bowmar and Dana Road elementary schools. Williams said this will be the dogs first visit to Mississippi.
To learn more about smoke alarms, visit firepreventionweek.org.