Live Safe
Monday, October 22, 2018

Posts Tagged ‘Live Safe Foundation’
When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors
Monday, July 6th, 2015

Did you know that all thunderstorms produce lightning and lightning can strike as far as ten miles away from any rainfall? Many deaths from lightning occur ahead of the storm because people wait to the last minute before seeking shelter. According to the National Weather Service, the U.S. has averaged 51 lightning fatalities per year for the past 30 years. Only about 10% of people struck by lightning are actually killed. Most victims face varying degrees of discomfort and/or disability, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

If you are outdoors and see lightning, move indoors to a completely enclosed building or into a hard-topped vehicle and close the windows. Avoid being in or near high places and open fields, isolated trees, unprotected gazebos, car ports, pavilions, tents, shelters, baseball dugouts, flagpoles, light poles, metal or wood bleachers, metal fences, and water. Don’t hold on to metal items such as golf clubs, umbrellas or tools.

To determine how far a thunderstorm is from you, use the 30-30 Rule. When you see lightning, count the number of seconds that pass until you hear thunder. If you hear thunder within 30 seconds of seeing lightning, the storm is within six miles. Seek shelter immediately. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before leaving shelter.

If you are at home when a storm is expected, unplug major or unnecessary appliances such as televisions and air conditioners, as power surges can damage appliances beyond repair. Avoid using corded phones or any electrical appliances.

Lightning can enter your home as a direct strike, through wires or pipes that extend outside your home (i.e. water, gas pipes), or through the ground. Once it makes it into your home, the current generated by the lightning strike can travel through electrical lines, plumbing, phone lines, radio or television reception systems. Flexible gas line is more susceptible to lightning damage than iron pipe. Look, listen and smell for gas leaks and any evidence of a fire. If the fire is small (smoldering) and in a remote location such as the crawl space, basement, or attic, you may not be able to see flames but you can often smell or see smoke.

If you detect any unusual odors or see any smoke, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Take a few minutes this week to make sure your family members know what to do when they are outside or at home and hear thunder. Don’t wait for the rain to begin to take shelter. A comprehensive list of safety tips and other lightning resources are available at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.


Home Oxygen Safety
Monday, June 22nd, 2015

The use of oxygen therapy in the home has become increasingly common. A growing older adult population, shorter hospital stays, and home health care services have increased the number of home portable oxygen systems in use. But administering oxygen therapy away from a medical facility, which is typically protected by fire protection systems and stringent safety regulations, and shifting it to an unregulated home environment, increases the fire risk to the user.

Under normal circumstances, room air contains approximately 21% oxygen. Residential oxygen therapy systems increase the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere around the patient. Oxygen molecules can saturate clothing, fabric, hair, beards and anything in the area. Oxygen is not flammable, but it can cause other materials that burn to ignite more easily and burn far more rapidly. Oxygen is of great benefit to those in need of oxygen therapy but it should always be handled with caution and awareness of the potential hazards. Here are some safety tips to make your home safe during oxygen therapy:

  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in your home. Smoking is the leading cause of burns, reported fires, deaths and injuries involving home medical oxygen. Clearly identify that oxygen is in use by placing a sign on your front door. (This may be obtained from the oxygen supply company.)
  • Stay at least five feet away from flame sources such as gas stoves, candles, lighted fireplaces or any other heat sources.
  • Do not use flammable products such as cleaning fluid, paint thinner or aerosol sprays while using oxygen.
  • Make sure oxygen cylinders are well-secured. Oxygen containers should be stored in an upright position. Never tip an oxygen cylinder on its side or try to roll it to a new location.
  • Keep all grease, oil and petroleum products and flammable materials away from your oxygen equipment. Some organic materials can react violently with oxygen if ignited by a hot spark.
  • Use water-based lubricants on your lips and hands. Don’t use an oil-based product like petroleum jelly, petroleum based creams or lotions.
  • Always operate oxygen cylinder or container valves slowly. Abrupt starting and stopping of oxygen flow may ignite any contaminant that might be in the system.
  • When cleaning an oxygen concentrator, make sure it is unplugged. If the machine is wiped down while it is plugged in, a wet cloth cannot be used.
  • Always have your gas supplier’s number available when needed.
  • Ensure that you have an all purpose (ABC) fire extinguisher close by and familiarize yourself with its use.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.


Resilient Communities Start with Building Codes
Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Without building and fire codes, shopping for groceries, getting you haircut, or watching TV in your home could be a risky proposition. Building and fire codes are rules that help ensure buildings are designed to withstand the everyday uses for which they are built. More importantly, these codes help safeguard against injury to people in the buildings, should something potentially dangerous occur, like a power outage, fire, tornado, or earthquake.

Fire and building codes are intended to achieve specific safety outcomes. For example, codes may specify the material to be used to construct a floor so that it is engineered to withstand a fire for a certain length of time to give those in the building more time to exit. Codes also specify the number and placement of exits in a building, based on the maximum number of people that will occupy the room, the room’s location in the building, and its intended use. These are just two examples, but illustrate the level of detail to which building and fire codes make buildings safer for the people who use them.

Even before a building is built in Dublin, it must meet the City’s building and fire code specifications. This is, in part, because a lot of the code requirements would be too costly for the building owner to complete after the building is finished. So, the Washington Township Fire Department and the Dublin Building Department review all building plans for structural integrity, fire protection systems, electricity, mechanical and plumbing before, during and after construction.

The Fire Department’s code inspectors regularly inspect all commercial buildings to enforce the Ohio Fire Code. If issues are identified, inspectors discuss with the responsible party any required action and then follow up to ensure compliance. It’s safer in Dublin!

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.


Stop, Drop & Roll the Ball Golf Outing supporting Burn Camp!
Friday, May 8th, 2015

On behalf of The Live Safe Foundation and ABCO Fire, we are holding our first annual “Stop, Drop and Roll the Ball Golf Outing in Support of the Great Lakes Burn Camp” on August 22, 2015, at the historical Ridgewood Golf Course nestled in the heart of Parma, Ohio. We would love to see you there and have your company as a sponsor this year. This is our newest flagship fundraising event and all proceeds go directly towards our annual ABCO-Shatten Scholarship fund and “Adopt-A-Camper” Partnership Program with the Great Lakes Burn Camp in Kalamazoo, Michigan, providing scholarships for winter and summer burn survivor campers. We appreciate your support!

Come on out, play golf on a terrific course, enjoy some networking, and help support a great cause supporting burn campers and promoting education. We will have a fun awards dinner program following the day of golf.  Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 1.25.10 PM

We are excited to offer a unique opportunity to you and your organization to serve as a sponsor for the golf outing! The success of our fundraising event is largely due to the generosity of business and personal donations we receive from companies and people like you. We hope that you can sponsor this event or provide a donation that can be auctioned off at the dinner fundraising celebration.

Your generous donation to our program will help Live Safe continue its mission. Please accept our sincere appreciation for your participation, sponsorship and for your dedication to our shared mission of fire and life safety education.

This fantastic and fun outing is limited to 80 golfers only.

JOIN THE FUN. SUPPORT A GREAT CAUSE. SIGN UP TODAY!

Saturday, August 22, 2015
Ridgewood Golf Course
6505 Ridge Road, Parma, Ohio 44129

Sign up your foursome today! Nestled in the heart of Parma, Ohio, don’t wait and miss out on a chance to play this 90-year old historical course that Walter Hagen-Arnold Palmer and Babe Zaharias played on years ago! Only a limited number of golfers can be scheduled for this amazing outing with all proceeds directly supporting the Great Lakes Burn Camp and ABCO-Shatten Memorial Educational Scholarship Fund. Sign up today…this event will fill up fast!

Register Online Here!

 


NOAA Weather Radio Is Important Safety Device
Monday, April 13th, 2015

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are now considered standard safety devices in homes. Another equally valuable yet less common safety device for the home or business is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio. With severe weather seemingly ever present in our daily lives, reports from NOAA can give you the information you need to make important decisions that will affect your life and the lives of your family members. The NOAA Weather Radio broadcast contains information about all types of severe weather including tornado and flood warnings as soon as it is available, not on a scheduled interval or in conjunction with a TV or radio broadcast.

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, a component of the nation’s Emergency Alert System, is comprised of a nationwide network of numerous transmitters directly linked with one of 123 local offices of NOAA’s National Weather Service. The closest office is the Wilmington, Ohio location which broadcast weather warnings that cannot be heard on a simple AM/FM receiver. With Ohio’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week (March 1-7) upon us, plan on adding a NOAA Weather Radio to your home with these important features:

• A special tone that precedes the initial broadcast regarding immediate weather threats to gain the listener’s attention. This feature is especially crucial when severe storms strike at night when most people are sound asleep.

• The units are small and require little space on a nightstand or table. They are especially convenient for vacations and will use the signal from a nearby transmitter.

• A battery back-up that ensures the receiver continues service during a loss of electricity as the warning capabilities of television or the internet will be lost.

• S.A.M.E. (Specific Area Message Encoding) technology that can be programmed to sound only select alerts for specific areas such as Franklin County. This prevents undesired messages and false alarms, especially those outside the local area.

• Many radios allow for customization for the hearing or visually impaired, such as strobe lights, or bed shakers.

• Units that receive the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards signal are available at many electronic retail stores and range in cost from $20 to $100. Look for receivers which carry the Public Alert logo (CEA-2009). Devices carrying the logo meet certain technical standards and come with the features mentioned. The National Weather Service does not manufacture these receivers.

Visit the Township’s website at www.wtwp.com to download your 65-page Emergency Preparedness Guide or stop by our Administration building at 6200 Eiterman Road for your free copy.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.


Prevent Poisonings in Your Home
Thursday, April 9th, 2015

As consumers, we purchase a wide variety of products that are used in and around our homes. Cleaners, cosmetics, medications, pesticides, and houseplants are among the most common. Because many of these items are commonplace, they are often overlooked as substances that could, if misused, cause illness, injury, and even death.

Each year, more than 6,000 people die and an estimated 30,000 suffer disabling illnesses as a result of unintentional poisonings. It can happen to anyone at any time. Unintentional poisonings can, however, be prevented. While child-resistant latches on cabinets and child-resistant caps on medications have decreased the incidents of poisonings, there are still many other poison hazards in your home. Reduce the likelihood of a poisoning occurring in your home by making sure you do the following:

  • Check under the sink and in cabinets for stored products that could be hazardous. These include drain cleaners, ammonia, detergents and floor cleaners. Store these products in their original containers to avoid mistaking the contents for another product and to ensure the label instructions for use and storage are with the product. Install safety latches on all cabinet doors where these products are stored to keep toddlers out.
  • Keep household items and food stored separately to avoid confusion.
  • Keep personal care items such as hair spray, cologne, perfumes, and nail polish remover where children cannot get them.
  • Use child-resistant caps and keep medication lids tightly closed.
  • Avoid taking medication in front of a child, or referring to pills as candy.
  • Never throw medication in the trash. Instead, dispose of unused or expired medications down the drain or toilet.
  • Keep rodent and insect traps out of reach.
  • Keep pesticides in a locked cabinet or in a garden shed and never unattended when using them.
  • Wipe up all spills and puddles in the garage, carport, basement, or utility areas.
  • Familiarize yourself with all the plants you have in and around the house. Some are poisonous to the touch such as poison ivy while others are poisonous if ingested.
  • Keep the number to Poison Control Center of Central Ohio, 1-800-682-7625, posted near the telephone. Have the original container and its label available when you call.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.


Bicycling without a helmet is risky
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Bicycling season in Central Ohio is just around the corner. Dublin’s bike paths provide many options for those of us who are anxious to get riding again.

In preparation for that day when you will take your first ride of the season, check your equipment to ensure your safety. Make sure the bike fits the rider. Have a certified cycling mechanic inspect your bike. Wear a properly fitted helmet. Head injury is the most common cause of death and serious disability in bicycle-related crashes. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, head injuries cause two-thirds of about 700 bicycle deaths each year and bicycle helmets reduce the risk of serious head and brain injury by 85%. However, bicycle helmets can greatly reduce the risk of brain and skull injuries if they are fitted and worn properly and regularly. Remember the four S’s when selecting a helmet.

1. Size: Try on several different helmets before you purchase one. The helmet should be comfortable and snug. Extra pads can be used to enhance the fit. Helmet pads should not be used to make a helmet that is too big fit. Don’t buy a helmet that is too big with the idea that he/she will grow into it.

2. Strap: The straps should be joined just under each ear at the jawbone. The buckle should be snug but allow the wearer to open their mouth comfortably.

3. Straight: The bottom edge of the helmet should be nearly parallel to the ground, not at an angle. The front of the helmet should be just about the rider’s eyebrows.

4. Standards: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Snell Memorial Foundation, and the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) have developed voluntary standards for bicycle helmets. Make sure the helmet you use bears a label from one of these organizations indicating that it meets certain testing criteria.

To help encourage helmet use, involve the rider in buying the helmet. Make sure he/she is happy with the appearance. Set a good example for your children by wearing a helmet, no matter how brief the trip. Replace a helmet immediately, if damaged. If you’d like us to help you adjust your helmet for a proper fit, stop by 6200 Eiterman Road between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a free consultation.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.


Placing a 9-1-1 Call—What You Should Know
Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

When an emergency, such as a fire occurs, it’s easy to become panicked and confused. As a result, many 9-1-1 calls made to emergency dispatchers are often not complete, thus hindering the fire department’s ability to arrive quickly to the scene. By knowing what to expect when you call 9-1-1 and making a few simple preparations, you can steer clear of the common mistakes people make when they place an emergency phone call.

• Keep the 9-1-1 number posted on every telephone in your house and ask neighbors to do the same. Make the call from inside your home only if you are trapped. Otherwise, get out, report to your family’s agreed upon meeting place, and call the fire department from a neighbor’s phone or cell phone.

• Speak clearly and calmly. Give the dispatcher the location of the emergency and a brief description of the incident you are reporting. Be prepared to answer questions such as location, address, name, and telephone number. Stay on the phone until you have answered all the dispatcher’s questions and he or she says it’s OK to hang up. Help is being dispatched at the same time the call taker is continuing to gather additional information. If your call is a medical emergency, the dispatcher will provide pre-arrival medical instructions telling you what to do before medics arrive.

• Do not program 9-1-1 into your phone. It is too easy to accidentally call the number. If you dial 9-1-1 in error, DO NOT hang up. With the enhanced 9-1-1 features in our area, the caller’s address and telephone number is automatically identified for the dispatcher’s reference. Instead, stay on the line and let the dispatcher know you made a mistake. Otherwise he/she will send emergency crews to your address and needlessly tie up resources from real emergencies.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.


Propane Safety
Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Propane, also called LP-gas, is a safe, economical, clean-burning, and versatile fuel when properly used. Regardless of the type of energy you use, safety is extremely important. An understanding of how your delivery system and appliances work, and what to do in case of a leak or other safety-related emergency are extremely important when dealing with propane as with electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and gasoline. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost 84% of liquefied petroleum (LP) gas fires in homes involve ignition by some form of equipment. The most common types involved were open-fired grills, hot water heaters and stoves, due to part failures and leaks.

Follow these important safety tips when using propane at home:

  • Handle any propane-powered equipment cautiously and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Cylinder tanks for equipment such as stoves and ovens must be located outside of the home.
  • Never store or use propane gas cylinders larger than one pound inside the home. Any gas leaking from a cylinder could build up and be ignited by a flame or spark, causing an explosion or a fire.
  • Never operate a propane-powered gas grill inside the home or on a balcony or porch. High levels of carbon monoxide gas can be generated causing serious illness or death.
  • Have propane gas equipment inspected periodically by a professional for possible leaks or malfunctioning parts.
  • Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings concerning lighting an appliance pilot.
  • If you smell a strong odor of gas, leave the area immediately and call the fire department from outside the home. To make propane easier to detect in the event of a leak, manufacturers deliberately add a chemical compound to give it the distinctive rotten egg smell.
  • For more information visit, the Propane Education and Research Council Web site at www.propanecouncil.org.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.


Testing is Key to Keeping Smoke Alarms Working
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Every 82 seconds, a home fire impacts the life of an American family. By providing an early warning and the critical few extra seconds to escape, smoke alarms cut in half your family’s risk of dying in a home fire, but only if they work. Sixty-five percent of reported home fires deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms that are not in proper working order can provide a false sense of security and, without periodic testing, could endanger those who rely on them.

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Testing is Key to Keeping Smoke Alarms Working!

Test your smoke alarms at least once a month following the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not test smoke alarms using a lit candle, match or lighter because of the danger of using an open flame in a residence. In addition, because smoke alarms are not designed to respond to heat or flames, the alarm may not respond to these testing methods even if it is in good working order.  Most residential smoke alarms can be tested by depressing a “test” button, which activates the alarm sound.  If the alarm does not respond when the “test” button is depressed, change the battery or replace the unit if necessary.

Many battery-powered smoke alarms will make an intermittent chirping sound when battery power is low. If a fresh battery does not eliminate the chirping, the cause could be age, improper location, or dust in the unit.

Clean your smoke alarms at least twice a year, using a vacuum cleaner. Dust and cobwebs can weaken the sensitivity of the alarm.

Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. Pick a date that is easy to remember such as daylight saving time.

If you have nuisance alarms caused by steam from cooking, try another location or alarm model. An ionization alarm with a hush button or a photoelectric alarm should be used if the alarm is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance. Always be sure you understand why an alarm is sounding before treating the alarm as a nuisance. Smoke alarms don’t last forever. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke alarms be replaced if they are performing erratically or are more than ten years old.

Doing periodic checks of the smoke alarms in your home should be routine. The time invested to check them is small compared to the benefit they can provide in saving lives.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.


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