Every smoke alarm has an expiration date: What’s yours? Los Alamos County Fire Department urges all Los Alamos County residents to know how old their smoke alarms are, and to replace them every 10 years
Does your home have a smoke alarm? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer likely is yes: NFPA research shows that most American homes have at least one. But do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If you’re like most people, you’re probably not so sure.
A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern for Los Alamos County Fire Department and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.
“Time and again, 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 properly,” says Chief Troy Hughes of the Los Alamos County Fire Department. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Los Alamos County residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”
NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.
As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, NFPA is promoting this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” to better educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old. National Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016. Los Alamos Fire Department will be reaching out to the community and local
LAFD is hosting two open houses:
- Monday Oct. 10, 6-8 p.m. at Fire Station #4 in Los Alamos at 4401 Diamond Dr.; and
- Friday Oct. 14, 6-8 p.m. at Fire Station #3 in White Rock at 129 N.M. 4.
LAFD also will hold a dedication and demonstration of its Practical Learning Center 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 12 at Fire Station #2 at 132 DP Road in Los Alamos.
To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). The Los Alamos County Fire Department also recommends smoke alarms be tested monthly, and recommends batteries be replaced twice a year usually during time changes, or when they begin to chirp signaling that they’re running low.
For more information on smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”, visit www.firepreventionweek.org. Like the Los Alamos County Fire Department Facebook Page for more information on our Fire Prevention activities and safety information.