Chapel Hill Fire Marshal Todd Iaeger says roughly half of home fire deaths result from nighttime fires when people are asleep, and the number one key for reducing those deaths is to have a working smoke detector.
“It’s the number one way to keep people safe and notify them,” Marshal Iaeger says. “Your chances dramatically drop of being killed or injured in a fire if you have proper smoke detection.”
Marshal Iaeger is currently promoting Fire Prevention Week with this year’s campaign slogan of “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Test Yours Every Month”.
The US Fire Administration reports that fires involving laundry equipment are reported approximately 2,900 times per year, and on Sunday, a home in the Finley Forrest Neighborhood near the Friday Center caught fire due to an overheating of the dryer vent piping.
Marshal Iaeger says when winterizing your home, it’s also a good time to have your equipment maintained by a professional in order to assure it’s working properly and safely.
“You always want to make sure, on a regular basis, every month, that your lint filters or your lint exhaust areas of your building are clean,” Marshal Iaeger says. “Checking your dryer and cleaning the lint filter every use is the practical and appropriate thing to do. Anything else around the house when it comes to heating equipment—we’re getting into that season—you want to make sure that your utilizing a qualified and trained technician from an appropriate and respectable company that can come out and service your equipment.”
Fire Prevention Week runs through Saturday.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes:
• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each bedroom and on every level of the home, including the basement.
• Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all sound.
• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
• Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
For more information, visit firepreventionweek.org.