The Chief’s Corner

By Robert W. Seltzer, BSEE, EFO, MP Chief Smithfield Fire Dept.

Fire Prevention Week is October 9 through the 15 and is a national event recognized throughout the country. We typically think of October as Fire Prevention Month as the Smithfield Fire Department spends the entire month of October educating school children and community groups about the danger of fire and how to prevent fires from occurring.

The Fire Prevention Week theme for this year is “Don’t Wait – Check The Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”.

Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

Additional fire safety tips:

Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
Test smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button.
A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place.
Call the fire department from a cellphone or a neighbor’s phone. Call 911! Stay outside until the fire department says it is safe to go back inside.

Home Escape Plan:

Have two ways out of each room.
Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke.
Know that once you’re out, stay out.
Know where to meet after the escape.
Meeting place should be near the front of your home, so firefighters know you are out.
Practice your fire escape plan.

The Smithfield Fire Department invites you to our annual Fire Prevention Open House to be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, 12 to 4 p.m., at our fire department headquarters station, 607 Putnam Pike, in Greenville.