Fire Prevention Week encourages checking smoke alarm date


In an effort to educate the Offutt community about fire prevention, the Offutt Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association for this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign held Oct. 9 - 15.


The Offutt Fire Department will be hosting educational events for Bellevue Elementary School classes, from kindergartens to 2nd graders, during fire prevention week. They will demonstrate fire safety, hand out coloring books and other items that illustrate fire safety and Sparky the fire dog will also make an appearance.


The fire department will also hold an open house Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. During this time, families can enjoy free food and beverages, bounce houses, a face painter and various fire safety activities.


These events will help to promote this year's Fire Prevention Week theme of "Don’t Wait, Check the Date!", and help Offutt residents and employees understand NFPA's smoke alarm replacement recommendations.


Through educational activities, Team Offutt can learn more about their smoke alarms, newer options for installing and maintaining them properly, and how to protect their loved ones from fire.


NFPA recommends replacing smoke alarms after 10 years because that is typically the life expectancy of the devices; beyond that, the sensors in smoke alarms can begin to lose their sensitivity.  statistics show that working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire nearly in half. But they must be working properly to do so.


NFPA experts agree that having interconnected alarms offer the best protection; when one sounds, they all do.


Offutt Fire Department offers the following tips for making sure smoke alarms are maintained and working properly:


 · Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.


 · If an alarm "chirps" warning that the battery is low, replace the battery right away.


 · Replace all smoke alarms, including those that use ten year batteries, every ten years or sooner, if they do not respond properly when tested.


 · Never move or disable a smoke alarm.


To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities on Offutt, click here. To learn more about the "Smoke Alarms: A sound You Can Live with!" visit NFPA's web site at