According to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) website, Fire Prevention Week is observed annually during the second week of October.  That particular week is the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which urban legend blames on “Mrs. O’Leary’s cow.”  This fire affected fully one-third of Chicago, which, at that time, was in the middle of an ongoing drought in a city where the vast majority of buildings were made of wood.   

The NFPA states Fire Prevention Week is the longest-running public health observance in our country, helping people learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. This year’s theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.”   

Children and those with different abilities must know how to react if they hear the familiar-to-us sounds of a smoke detector or carbon monoxide (CO) alarm.  That’s why we say “Hear a Beep, Get On Your Feet”; early detection and warning of these issues can prevent severe injury or death. 

Another useful memory tool is “Hear a Chirp, Make a Change.  When a smoke detector or CO alarm is chirping, that means it’s time to replace the unit or battery.  Many devices now come standard with lithium-ion batteries that last a full ten years.  However, many other devices are old or have been neglected, if they even have batteries!  Knowing the chirp could help save lives, as we’ve seen them time and again. 

These auditory devices are great ways to alert you to issues.  Many other people, however, are born with or develop problems with their hearing.  Based on National Institute of Health statistics, 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children born in the U.S. have a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears, and fully 15% of American adults report some trouble hearing. 

With this in mind, Fire Prevention Week also addresses strategies families with deaf or hard of hearing members can take to keep their loved ones safe.  Recommendations include installing special alarms and devices, like smoke detectors connected to strobe lights that will flash when triggered.  Other devices will shake and vibrate someone’s bed when it hears the chirping of a smoke alarm.   

Fire ITM/Service contractors can be critical components to ensuring the life-safety of these and other systems, whether in residential or commercial buildings.  Inspect Point values the work of fire protection contractors, many of whom are also members of the career or volunteer fire services. 

One such member happens to be an Inspect Point employee, as well.  Our Sales Engineer, Jeff Pirro, is a member of the Defreestville Fire Department in the North Greenbush (NY) Fire District.  This past Thursday morning, Jeff, along with several department members – and like thousands of firefighters and departments across the country – visited their local elementary school to increase awareness of fire prevention and help the kids “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” 

Educational efforts like fire prevention week, combined with proactive fire protection like an inspection for alarm and sprinkler systems, are critical components of ensuring we minimize any possible life-safety gaps that threaten the lives of our family, friends, neighbors, and others.  Inspect Point thanks all those involved in fire life-safety protection efforts.   

That is Jeff on the end in the black pants.