The Kirkland Fire Department is reminding residents this National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, that smoke detectors reduce your risk of dying in a fire by 50 percent.
“It cannot be overstated the importance of having smoke detectors in non-sprinklered homes, that there are enough for the size of the home – and that they are working,” said David Walker, Kirkland’s assistant fire marshal.
On average across the United States, a fire department responds to a fire approximately every 23 seconds, and in Kirkland they are all too regular. On Aug. 14 a fire destroyed a home on Rose Hill, and Marshal said it spread so quickly the residents barely escaped. Four residential fires broke out in Juanita over a nine-day period in early September, one of them destroying a town house owned by the Kirkland housing service agency KITH.
National Fire Prevention Week is an annual awareness campaign to promote fire safety throughout the U.S. This year’s theme is “Have 2 Ways Out!” which focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
Created and sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the goal of fire prevention week is to educate families on what causes home fires, how to prevent them and what to do in an emergency situation.
The National Fire Sprinkler Association goes a step beyond smoke detectors, recommending that sprinklers be installed in homes. It urges that families take the following steps:
• Make an escape plan and practice it twice a year.
• Install smoke detectors in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and check the batteries often.
• Install fire sprinklers throughout your house.
• Once you’re out, stay out! Do not re-enter a burning building.
Asst. Fire Marshal Walker also notes that the end of daylight savings time is Nov. 4 -- traditionally the day that fire department’s remind residents to check batteries in smoke detectors and make sure they are working properly.