MEDIA RELEASE - Fire Prevention Week 2016

10/7/2016

                                                                                                                                                       
        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                  October 7, 2016
 
Every smoke alarm has an expiration date: What’s yours?         
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Office of the State Fire Marshal is reminding West Virginians that smoke alarms have an expiration date. “Don’t wait: Check the Date!” is this year’s official theme for Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15.
 
Fire departments around the state will bring awareness to this campaign by urging residents to check their smoke alarms – and get them installed soon if they don’t have them.
A survey by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shows that the public have misconceptions about smoke alarms, and that this may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are or how often they need to be replaced.
This year’s focus on smoke alarm replacement features several key messages:
• Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
• Resident should know how old all the smoke alarms are in their 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.
 
State Fire Marshal Ken Tyree says: “This year our agency has established our first annual Fire Prevention and Safety Poster Contest for elementary students in kindergarten thru 5th grade to encourage them and their families to review fire safety information and tips, and to give students the opportunity to express artistically a fire prevention or safety concept.  In two weeks, the top 12 finalists in the state will be rewarded for their efforts and recognized in a 2017 Fire Prevention and Safety Calendar which will be made available for distribution.  We commend all students for their participation!”
 
Fire Prevention Week was established in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, which claimed 250 lives, left 100,000 people homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres in October 1871.
 
For more information on smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, visit www.firepreventionweek.org. Other resources on fire safety and smoke alarms are available on our website, www.firemarshal.wv.gov, under the “Public Education” section.
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Contact:

Courtney Rosemond
(304) 558-2191
Courtney.A.Rosemond@wv.gov