The following article was contributed by Wilton Fire Chief Jim Blanchfield.
In 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) named the second week of October “Fire Prevention Week” in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance in 1925. It is now the country’s longest-running public health observance!
Every October, the Wilton Fire Department joins in this observance by making it a goal to raise the community’s fire safety awareness and encourage all residents to practice fire prevention and whole-home safety.
This year, Wilton firefighters are urging residents to “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.”
The key messages for “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” include:
- Know the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm — three beeps for smoke alarms; four beeps for carbon monoxide alarms.
- When a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm sounds, exit the home as quickly as possible.
- If your alarm begins to chirp, it may mean that the batteries are running low and need to be replaced. If the alarm continues to chirp after the batteries are replaced, or the alarm is more than 10 years old, it is time to replace the detector.
- Test all smoke and CO alarms monthly.
The NFPA’s website also shares other guidance including:
- What if someone is deaf or hard of hearing? There are smoke alarms and devices that alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices include strobe lights that flash to alert people when the alarm sounds. Also, pillow or bed shakers designed to work with a smoke alarm also can be purchased.
- Importance of Fire Prevention In a fire, seconds can be the difference between a safe escape or a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for kids. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk, making it important for everyone to take time every October to make sure they understand how to stay safe.
Wilton Fire Department Public Education
The career firefighters and staff at the Wilton Fire Department protect the community 24/7, 365 days a year. Our people are committed to your safety. If you have any questions about this year’s campaign or anything related to fire protection or safety, please stop into Wilton Fire Headquarters at 236 Danbury Rd. or call 203.834.6248. You can also find more information at the Fire Prevention Week website and Sparky (online fire prevention education for kids). And, as always, if it is an emergency, dial 911!
Thank you for allowing us to serve you and keep your community safe.
Wilton Fire Department