Press Club

ACFD to Host Open Houses for Fire Prevention Week

This week — Oct. 7-13 — is Fire Prevention Week.

In addition to placing Fire Prevention Week signs outside fire stations (see the Spider-man sign, left), the Arlington County Fire Department will be hosting open houses at 8 of the county’s 10 fire stations. (There will be no open houses at fire stations 2 and 4, which are both undergoing renovations.)

The open houses will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10:00 to 4:00 p.m. Depending on the fire station there will be activities and food, including moon bounces and popcorn, plus fire safety handouts for adults and kids. Firefighters will also be available to answer fire safety questions.

In advance of Fire Prevention Week, and in response to an NBC News report on smoke detectors, ACFD issued the following press release last week.

Recent news reports about smoke detectors may have led people to false assumptions about smoke detectors in their homes. Arlington County Fire Chief James Schwartz today offered guidance to renters and homeowners.

“Smoke detectors remain one of the best defenses against the loss of life,” said Fire Chief Schwartz. “If your smoke alarms are less 10 years old, you don’t need to replace them. We do recommend people have a mix of different types of alarms – ionization and photoelectric alarms – to provide quick alerts regardless of the type of fire.”

Two types of smoke detection technologies are in widespread use. Each one has a different reaction time, based on the type of fire:

  • Photoelectric devices react faster to slower, smoldering fires that have larger particles – for example, a cigarette in a couch cushion or mattress.
  • Ionization devices react faster to rapidly-spreading fires that have smaller particles – for example, a grease fire on a stove or wastepaper basket fire.

Additional recommendations from the Arlington County Fire Department

  • Have at least one alarm on every level of the house and one in each sleeping area.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.
  • Test all home alarms monthly and replace the batteries twice a year when the clocks are changed.
  • Families must familiarize themselves with the dangers of smoke and fire and exit plan and to teach children what to do if the alarm sounds.
  • Plan and practice home fire drills so every member of the home understands how to get out quickly if the alarm sounds.
  • Write the date on the battery with a permanent marker as a reminder when the battery was changed.
  • In addition to smoke detectors, all homes should also have carbon monoxide alarms.

More information

Photo courtesy @ARL_SFbulldog

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