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Nelson Fire Rescue stresses importance of knowing smoke alarm expiry date

By Contributor
October 10th, 2016

Does your home have a smoke alarm?

According to the non-profit group National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer is likely yes: NFPA research shows that most homes have at least one. But do you know how old your smoke alarms are?

If you’re like most people, you’re probably not so sure.

A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that 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 Nelson Fire Rescue Services (NFRS) 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 Nelson Fire Chief Len MacCharles, adding residents should know the expiry date of smoke alarms and replace them every 10 years.

“That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Nelson residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”

NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.

To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked.

The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase).

Nelson firefighters also say smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and that batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low.

 Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, NFRS is joining forces with the NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15th, to remind local residents about the importance of checking the age of their alarms.

NFRS will be hosting activities during Fire Prevention Week — October 9-15th — to promote the message, including door-to-door visits in some areas and school visits throughout Nelson.

During the fire department will go along with one Panago Pizza delivery each night. 

If the resident can show a working smoke alarm, he or she will win free pizza. 

Those who do not will be given a new alarm, donated by Maglio Building Center.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week, visit NFPA’s Web site or

For information on programs and activities in Nelson, please contact Nelson Fire Rescue Services (NFRS) at 352-3103.

Categories: General

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