The Fort Wayne Fire Department Reminds Fort Wayne Residents Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives – Test Yours Every Month

FWFD Plans Activities for Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11, 2014

FORT WAYNE, IND., October 7, 2014 – Working smoke alarms can make a life-saving difference in a fire. That’s the message behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”

Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, the Fort Wayne Fire Department (FWFD) is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11, to remind local residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home and testing them monthly.

Working smoke alarms are a critical fire safety tool that can be the difference between life and death in a fire. NFPA data shows that house fires killed more than 2,800 people in 2013; many of these deaths could have been prevented with the proper smoke alarm protection. Almost two-thirds of house fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke detectors.

“In a fire, seconds count,” said FWFD’s Fire Education and Prevention Captain Dave Meadows. “Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out.”

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
  • Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

The Fort Wayne Fire Department will be hosting activities Fire Prevention Week to promote “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives!” Through these educational activities, residents can learn more about the importance of working smoke alarms and testing them monthly.

On Wednesday, October 8th at 10 a.m., WOWO radio will host the 68th annual citywide Fire Drill. While all schools within Fort Wayne participate in the evacuation drill, one school is designated as the host school acting as a central location for activating the fire alarm.   Students at Croninger Elementary School (6700 Trier Rd.) will host and make the "911" emergency call.   Firefighters of the Fort Wayne Fire Department will respond to the "fire".

On Thursday,October 9th from 4-5 p.m. the FWFD will team up with St. Francis University for a campus Safety Fire Drill, an initiative designed to address the importance of on-campus fire safety. The drill will be held at Clare Hall.

On Saturday, October 11,
Firefighters from the FWFD will meet at Bridge of Grace Church (5100 Gaywood Drive) at 1 p.m. to kick-off our Smoke Detector Blitzes. For approximately three hours, crews will canvass these statistically identified high fire risk neighborhoods to check a home's existing smoke detectors working condition and/or installing the life saving devices. The free smoke detectors are part of a grant received from Firehouse Subs. Neighborhoods included in this Smoke Detector Blitz include homes in the 46802; 46803; 46805; and 46806 zip codes.

"We have had great success with this program," says Captain Meadows. "By targeting neighborhoods whose fire occurrence is statistically high, we are able to check existing detectors to make sure they are in working order, or install these life saving devices where none are found."  

For 92 years fire departments across the country have observed Fire Prevention Week making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The FWFD actively supports Fire Prevention Week offering community events and activities promoting fire safety.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Fort Wayne, please contact the Fire Department at 427.1102. To learn more about “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives!” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org or FWFD’s website at www.FortWayneFireDepartment.org.