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ACFD to Host Open Houses for Fire Prevention Week

by ARLnow.com October 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm 3,415 12 Comments

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

  • JimPB

    Disappointed that the chief wasn’t explicit about the extreme toxicity of smoke from plastics and other materials that are now so prevalent in residences. This smoke can and does kill, and quickly, often well before flames could.

    Requiring sprinkler systems in all new construction would be a major step toward reducing the damage from fires. Such a system can douse a fire early on, long before the fire department can. Obvious large benefits in an early response.

  • Arlington Cat

    Other tips

    Keep a fire extinguisher that is rated for both electrical and grease near your kitchen. Fill a container with baking soda (NOT POWDER) and keep it near your oven and stove. Try to install an all house surge protector to keep you wiring from deteriorating from within. Keep your grill away from your structure.

    Do not keep fireworks in the home or garage.

    If a room does not have a large window, it is not a bedroom, and should not be used a bedroom. Firefighters should not be risking their lives going into a burning building in the middle of the night looking for someone who is trapped and doesn’t have a window to open and climb out or be rescued with. Do you hear me Fairlington? No window, no bedroom.

  • Arlington Cat

    Here is a real one for Arlington. If your dryer exhaust hose is vinyl, it is more than 10 years old and should be replaced immediately with a tin or aluminium hose. They don’t make vinyl hoses anymore for a reason. An old vinyl hose would be very brittle at this stage in its life.

  • ef yourself

    haha.. I won the “fire escape plan” contest in 2000 in 5th grade while at glebe and almost won a trip to disney world. Still have the plaque on my wall for some reason

  • tumblebum

    Don’t fall for it. ACPD is setting up a sting operation for county tag enforcement.

  • Bobby Bob Rob Hobson

    Why do we have a Fire Department? We do not have a Crime Department. Maybe it would be better to call it the Anti-Fire Department or the Insurance Protection Department. (Relax, fire fighting started as a part of insurance companies to protect the insured property. No insurance, then no fire fighting for that house.)

    • Leeway Heights

      It’s actually the Arlington County EMS Department, just mislabeled.

    • ummm..

      Firefighting started when people first learned how to make fire. Long before insurance, my friend.

  • Ashton Heights

    Just called the Fire Prevention Office because I’ve been concerned about a secondary fire escape route from a house second floor. I was told the Code doesn’t require one, and the ACFD has no recommendations.

    • Leeway Heights

      I think they just passive aggressively told you to die in a fire…

  • Garlington

    This says ALL houses should have a carbon monoxide detector, I thought it was just for homes with gas and/or with an attached garage? Does a home with all-electric heating and appliances and no garage still need a CM detector?

    • YTK

      They all should — including apartments. Once I was CAREFULLY heating a screwdriver to make a SMALL plastic weld –when I touched the heated tip to the plastic part, the CO detector went off in a heartbeat.


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