BST&G Fire District is hosting an Open House at 350 W Cherry Street in Sunbury from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, in support of Fire Prevention Week, and this year’s campaign is: Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, most American homes have at least a smoke alarm, but a recent survey 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 BST&G Fire District firefighters and the 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,” said BST&G Chief Jeff Wilson. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate 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.
Fire Prevention Week is October 9 through October 15. As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, NFPA is promoting this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign to better educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old.
Chief Wilson said 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). The BST&G Fire District also says 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.
For more information on smoke alarms, visit firepreventionweek.org.
Historically, Sunbury had a fire department dating back to the 1800s. Galena had its own fire department until 1972. All that adjacent townships could do in a fire emergency was depend on their neighbors for help. In 1952, the Berkshire, Sunbury, Trenton Fire Department was formed. When the Village of Galena Fire Department dissolved, Galena came on board.
BST&G operates out of a facility located at 350 W. Cherry Street, Sunbury. The building contains a garage, day room, equipment storage areas, and office space. The department dispatches through Delaware County 911.
For additional information about BST&G Fire Department call the department’s non-emergency number: 740-965-3841.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.