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Every smoke alarm has an expiration date: What’s yours?

(courtesy graphic)

(courtesy graphic)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. --

National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15 and the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Fire Department urges everyone to know how old their smoke alarms are, and to replace them every 10 years.

Does your home have a smoke alarm? According to the National Fire Protection Association, the answer is likely yes: NFPA research shows that most American homes have at least one. Do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably not so sure.

A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern for CMAFS fire department and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.

“Time and again, I’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” says Guy Chastain, CMAFS fire department assistant chief. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate everyone about the overall importance of smoke alarms and that they do have a life limit.”

The National Fire Alarm Code requires smoke alarms to be replaced at least every 10 years. Because most homeowners generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign is “Don’t Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” to better educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old.

To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look for the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date and not the date of purchase.

In addition, the CMAFS fire department said smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and batteries need to be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low.

For more information on smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” visit www.firepreventionweek.org, contact your local fire department or call the CMAFS Fire Prevention Office at 719-474-3355.

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