The Turlock Fire Department works hard to educate the youth in our community about fire prevention, but this question is directed at the adults living in Turlock. When was the last time you tested the smoke alarms in your home? Was it last week, last month, or last year? If you are like most people, you may not even remember the last time you tested them. Smoke alarms have become such a common feature in U.S. homes that they are often taken for granted and aren’t tested or maintained as they should be.
We know first-hand that working smoke alarms are a critical fire safety tool that can help alert you and your family in a home fire. According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoke alarms can cut the chance of someone dying in a home fire in half. Meanwhile, NFPA data shows that home fire killed more than 2,300 people in the United States in 2012. Many of these deaths could have been prevented with the proper smoke alarm detection.
I have had the privilege of serving the citizens of Turlock for over 34 years in the fire department. I have seen the devastating effects of a fire many times and I know that smoke detectors can make the difference between early detection and severe personal loss. My plea to the adults in Turlock is to test your smoke detectors and make sure that they are operating correctly.
I write this message to you as we prepare for Fire Prevention Week starting October 5, 2014. NFPA is the official sponsor and this year’s theme is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”
Both Turlock Fire and Police Departments will be hosting our annual open house at the Turlock Public Safety Center on October 25th and we will have staff available to assist you with any questions that you may have about smoke detectors. In addition if you are elderly and have no way of testing your smoke detector call Turlock Fire Department and we will have an engine company stop by your home to assist you.
Here are some additional smoke alarm tips to follow:
* Install smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level.
* Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
* Test alarms each month by pushing the test button.
* Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner.
* Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound and understands what to do when they hear a smoke alarm.
Turlock Fire Department is ready to respond when called, but we would much rather try to prevent injury and property loss and that starts with properly working smoke detectors.
Sincerely, Tim Lohman, Fire Chief
CHANGE YOUR CLOCK, CHANGE YOUR BATTERIES
As Daylight Saving Time draws to a close, it will be time to "Fall back" once again and set your clocks back by one hour on November 2nd at 2:00am. This is also a good time to remind you to change and test the batteries in your smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, 71% of smoke alarms which failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. The Turlock Fire Department would like to remind our residents that this one simple step can help save your life and the lives of those around you. If you are physically unable, a senior or low-income, the Turlock Fire Department has a smoke detector program to help you. Please contact our Fire Administration office at 209.668.5580 for more information.
Remember, changing your smoke detector batteries at least twice a year and testing your smoke detector are the most effective ways to reduce deaths and injuries.