ATLANTA—Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine and the National Fire Protection Association remind Georgians that Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 3-9. The theme this year is, “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!”
Oxendine and fire personnel around the state will be spreading the word about the importance of having a working smoke detector.
Georgia law now requires a smoke alarm in every home. Install working smoke alarms on every level, and inside and outside of each sleeping area. If you already have smoke alarms, don’t forget to replace the batteries annually.
Two different technologies are used to detect smoke: an ionization detector senses charged particles called ions; the photoelectric kind detects a reduction or reflection of light when smoke flows between a light beam and a sensor. Some detectors combine both methods and are probably the most effective, though either type will provide you with sufficient warning to escape a fire.Ionization detectors respond more quickly to flaming fires with smaller combustion particles; photoelectric detectors respond more quickly to smoldering fires.
“Most fatal fires start between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., while the family is asleep” Oxendine said. “Nine out of 10 fire victims are already dead before the fire department is even called, mainly from smoke and toxic gases. The advance warning of a smoke alarm can mean the difference between life and death.”
If the smoke alarm sounds: Go to your closest exit, and if you run into smoke, turn and use another way out. If you must exit through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Don’t take time to pick up belongings; just get out and help others get out. Move fast but stay calm.
Once out of the house, stay out. Fatalities occur every year when people try to go back inside a burning home, usually to retrieve possessions.
For more information on planned activities, please contact your local fire department or call Commissioner Oxendine’s Fire Safety Education Division at 404-657-0831.