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If you ask the firefighters of the Pocatello Fire Department, they would say knowing a couple of dates could end up saving your life in a house fire.
During Fire Prevention Week from October 9 to 15, the department will be joining with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to educate citizens on the importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and when they need to be replaced.
“Just like any other appliance that ages, smoke alarms stop working properly the older they get,” said Pocatello Fire Chief David Gates. “I’ve seen the life-saving 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 correctly. That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, especially that they do have a life limit.”
During Fire Prevention Week, firefighters are telling citizens to “Don’t Wait, Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” on all the smoke alarms in their home, replacing any that may be past the useful date and testing and replacing batteries in those that need it.
“Under NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, smoke alarms are required to be replaced at least every 10 years from the manufacture date on the back of the alarm, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk,” said Gates.
Also as part of the effort, the department will be teaming up with Domino’s Pizza to check and see if customers have working smoke alarms in their home. On Monday, October 10, Tuesday, October 11, and Friday, October 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., firefighters will deliver pizza to a randomly selected order. If the customer has working smoke alarms in their home, the pizza is free. If the customer does not have smoke alarms, firefighters will install one free of charge.
Before the week officially gets underway, the department will be partnering with the American Red Cross to conduct a smoke alarm campaign Saturday, October 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help with the effort and for more information on how you can help, contact Kim Stouse, Community Relations/Education Specialist with the Pocatello Fire Department, at 234-7083.