The Office of the State Fire Marshal
joins national efforts to promote fire prevention
“Working smoke alarms save lives: test yours
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[October 10, 2014]
– The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) echoes the initiatives of
the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as National Fire
Prevention Week kicks off today. This year’s emphasis is on the
importance of having working smoke alarms installed in every home,
school, business or other public facilities. This year’s theme “Working
Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month” reminds the public that
having smoke alarms can prevent personal injuries and human losses.
“A fire can break out at any time. I urge Illinois residents to
have smoke alarms installed and test them every month,” said State
Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. During this week families should take
a few minutes to inspect smoke alarms and replace batteries
immediately as a measure to prevent fire tragedies.”
NFPA implemented the national fire prevention week more than 90
years ago in an effort to engage the public in proactive activities
destined to put in practice basic fire safety measures. During
October 5 – 11, 2014 families should practice fire escape plans,
teach children to identify the sound of the smoke alarms and act
immediately upon its sound. Smoke alarms are proven to make a
difference between life and death if they are properly functioning.
According to NFPA, having a working smoke alarm in the home cuts the
risk of dying in a fire in half. On average each year, three out of
five home fires deaths are a result in fires where there were no
smoke alarms present or non working smoke alarms.
- Installing smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each
sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the
- Testing all smoke alarms every month by using the test
- Replacing all smoke alarms every 10 years or sooner if they
don’t respond properly when tested.
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- Designate two escape routes from each bedroom and
practice them regularly.
- Change the batteries in every smoke alarm at least twice
- Teach everyone the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" technique in
case clothing catches on fire.
- Avoid storing old mattresses in the home or garage.
- Teach kids that matches, lighters and candles are tools,
not toys. Store them in a safe place away from the reach of
For more information on fire prevention and the use of
smoke alarms please visit
or www.fpw.org .
[Office of the State Fire Marshal,
State of Illinois]