National campaign urges use of bedroom smoke detectors

  • Published
  • By Robins Fire Emergency Services
  • 78th Civil Engineer Group
This year's Fire Prevention week theme is "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm."

This theme stresses the importance of having working smoke detectors in the bedrooms of our homes - they protect our families.

Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, Robins Air Force Base Fire Emergency Services is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 4 through 10.

The week is designed to remind Team Robins about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home and testing them monthly.

To help do that, firefighters and inspectors will be talking with people at various base venues during the week including the Exchange, commissary, Base Restaurant, Child Development Centers and even at the flight line entrance gates.

Robins FES is encouraging all base employees not only to practice fire safety at work, but also to bring the message home to share with their entire family.

According to NFPA statistics, half the U.S. home fire deaths occur at night between the hours of 11p.m. and 7 a.m., making being asleep one of the leading causes of home fire fatalities.

Having working smoke alarms cuts the risk in half of dying in a fire. In fact, three out of five residential fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

Smoke is the real killer in a house fire

Smoke is full of chemical compounds that are lethal when inhaled. Those chemicals, combined with low oxygen levels caused by the fire, make it difficult for the brain to function and maintain consciousness.

Death from smoke inhalation can occur in as little as two minutes from the ignition of a fire.

That's why it's so important to practice and use your family escape plan. Once a smoke alarm sounds, leave immediately. If you live in on-base housing, use a cell phone or a neighbor's phone to call 911, or 478-222-2900 to reach the Robins Emergency Communication Center.

Smoke alarms can't protect you if they don't work

Test alarms monthly. Push the test button. If the alarm does not sound, replace the battery. If it still doesn't sound, replace the unit. Alarms should be replaced every eight to 10 years. Make sure you buy a smoke alarm that's approved by a recognized testing laboratory (such as Underwriters Laboratories).

NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm CodeĀ®, requires a smoke detector/alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.

Smoke detectors and alarms should be installed either on the ceiling, or high on a wall, 4 to 2 inches from the ceiling. Don't install alarms in the kitchen, garage, bathroom or workshops. Cooking fumes, steam, and other air particles can create false alarms. Also, dust can cause false alarms, so when you change your batteries every six months, use a vacuum to gently remove dust.

To learn more visit NFPA's Web site at