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JBSA Fire Emergency Services reminds residents working smoke alarms save lives

By | Sept. 29, 2014

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — 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, Joint Base San Antonio Fire Emergency Services is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association during Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 6 through Oct. 11, to remind residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home and testing them monthly.

According to the latest NFPA research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

"In a fire, seconds count," said JBSA Fire Chief Mark Ledford. "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.
· Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
· Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
· Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

"Surprisingly, according to recent NFPA reports the death rate was much higher in fires in which a smoke alarm was present but did not operate than it was in fires in which the homes had no smoke alarms," Ledford said.

During Fire Prevention Week, JBSA Fire Emergency Services will be hosting multiple learning activities.

The main event is the Fire Prevention Week Open House located at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Watkins Terrace Community Fire Station 5.

"It is going to be exciting," Ledford said. "We will have Sparky the Fire Dog®, fire truck displays, firefighters, the fire safety house, the Jaws of Life and a host of special guest to include Ultimate Fighter Championship fighter Shawn 'The Savage' Jordan promoting 'Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives! Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of working smoke alarms."

To find out more about JBSA Fire Prevention Week activities, contact JBSA fire prevention offices at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston (221-2727), JBSA-Lackland (671-2921) and JBSA-Randolph (652-6915).

To learn more about the "Working Smoke Alarms Saves Lives" campaign, visit NFPA's website at http://www.firepreventionweek.org.