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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Friday, October 7, 2011

amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare to “Protect Your Family from Fire” this Fire Prevention Week

Des Moines, IOWA --- The Iowa Department of Public Safety, State Fire Marshal Division reminds Iowans Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2011.  To mark the occasion, the Fire Marshal’s staff encourages citizens to take preventative measures to “Protect Your Family from Fire.” 

The State Fire Marshal Division believes every home should have multiple smoke alarms to provide early detection of a fire.  With this vision, firefighters across the state have been installing smoke alarms as part of the “100 Years, 100%” smoke alarm campaign which commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.  Through their work installing smoke alarms, firefighters have learned several things:

  1. The lack of smoke alarms or lack of working smoke alarms has been found in homes of all types and ages.
  2. In many cases there is not a single working smoke alarm in the house.
  3. Many homes lacking smoke alarms have children present.
  4. When asked, children acknowledge conducting fire drills at school.  Not one can recall doing a fire drill at home.
  5. Homes are often equipped with a fire extinguisher, but most homeowners admit they have no idea how to use the extinguisher to put out a fire. 
  6. All parents surveyed admit they would like to buy an escape ladder or more smoke alarms, but say they just haven’t gotten around to it.
  7. All of the pre-existing smoke alarms which were improperly installed near the kitchen or bathroom shower, have had batteries removed because of false, nuisance alarms. 
  8. Many parents believe they and their children will instinctively know what to do when there is a fire. 

Make a commitment to your family.  This coming week, prepare to “Protect Your Family from Fire.”
1) Practice a home fire drill tonight!  If you wait for the “right” time, you will never do it. 

  1. Select and discuss multiple escape routes from each room of the home.  Choose a meeting place for your family to gather outside in the event of a fire. 
  2. Regularly test your smoke alarms.  Annually replace the batteries during fall daylight savings time.  Never remove batteries.
  3. Talk about preventing fires with your family.  Implement safety measures related to candles, cooking equipment and smoking materials.  Simple pre-planning can prevent a fire or keep a small fire from turning into a big one.
  4. Know the risks; 90% of home fires occur at night. Additionally, more home fires per capita occur during the winter months.

As we approach fall and winter weather, we ask you to make a commitment to “Protect Your Family from Fire.”  Fire Prevention Week is every week!

Learn more about Fire Prevention Week and its origins.

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