Christopher LeClaire, Fire Chief
3 Greenleaf St.
Newburyport, MA 01950
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Newburyport Fire Department Reminds Residents About Home Safety During Fire Prevention Week
NEWBURYPORT– Chief Christopher LeClaire and the Newburyport Fire Department, as part of Fire Prevention Week, would like to remind the community about the necessary safety precautions to implement to prevent house fires and the appropriate actions to take if there is one in your residence.
Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4 through Oct. 10.
This year’s theme is “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep; Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm.” It is designed to remind residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in their homes.
While smoke alarms are only required in bedrooms of newly constructed (or substantially renovated) homes in Massachusetts, the Newburyport Fire Department recommends that all residents install them in their homes.
“This week is all about reminding the community to put safety first,” Chief LeClaire said. “It is imperative that residents install smoke alarms in their homes, as they will help ensure that if there is a fire, it is detected, and everyone can evacuate quickly, efficiently and safely.”
To prevent tragedies from a fire, the Newburyport Fire Department recommends that families:
- Take the simple step of making sure there are working smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.
- Consider installing smoke alarms inside bedrooms, especially for smokers or heavy sleepers.
- Test smoke alarms monthly and replace alkaline batteries twice a year – for instance, when changing clocks for Daylight Savings.
- Replace all smoke alarms that are 10 years old or older.
House fires are more common than you may think. According to data from the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System, there were 31,229 fires recorded in the state during 2012, causing 39 civilian deaths, 322 civilian injuries, 531 fire service injuries and an estimated $257 million in property damage.
Conduct home fire escape drills frequently, at least twice a year, so actions become automatic. Remember to take the following steps to prepare all family members on what do if there is a fire:
- Hold a family fire drill during the day, while everyone is awake and another one at night while children are asleep to see how they will respond. Following the drill, make adjustments to the plan.
- Does someone in the family, who may be too young or physically impaired, need assistance? If so, an adult should be assigned to go to that person’s room and assist him/her to an alternate escape route.
- If a child sleeps through an alarm, he or she may need to be awakened by an adult.
- Teach everyone the “Stop, Drop and Roll” technique in case clothing catches on fire.
- Make sure children understand that matches, lighters and candles are not toys and they should never play with them.