castle rock fire prevention week

Checking to make sure your smoke alarm is functioning properly might not be on the top of your to-do list. Starting October 10, Castle Rock Fire and Rescue has a handful of events planned for Fire Prevention Week to help call attention to the importance of having a working smoke alarm and practicing fire safety in the home.

“This year’s theme is “Don’t wait, check the date! Replace smoke alarm every 10 years,” said Jamie Duncan, Fire & Safety Educator/Inspector for Castle Rock Fire and Rescue. “In years past the theme has focused on ensuring folks change their batteries every 6 months in their smoke alarms, but often folks don’t even know their smoke alarms have an expiration date.”

Simply, twist it off the ceiling and look inside the main body of the alarm for the date. “After 10 years, it’s time for a new set of smoke alarms,” said Duncan. Because an alarm past its date cannot be relied on to keep your home safe.

According to the National Fire Prevention Authority (NFPA), “three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.” Simple maintenance could save lives.

Along with a reminder to check the alarm, here are a few tips about fire hazards that can be avoided at home:

1.Most home fires start in the kitchen. Having a 3-foot kid and pet free zone is ideal as to not cause accidents or fires in the kitchen.

2. People should always cook with a lid nearby so if a pan fire starts they can immediately cover the pan with the lid and turn off the heat.

3. If a fire starts in the oven, keep the oven door closed and turn off the heat. This will eliminate the chances of the fire spreading and should extinguish the fire.

4. Do not leave portable heaters, candles, and wood burning fireplaces and stoves unattended. A 3-foot kid and pet free zone are ideal to prevent fires and heaters with auto-shut-off when tipped are ideal.

5. Make sure your smoke alarms are within their manufacture date of 10 years or younger and ensure they have working batteries. A good way to remember to change your batteries is to “change your clocks, change your batteries.”

6. Don’t run electrical cords where they can easily be walked over. This breaks down the cord which can cause a fire.

7. Keep matches and lighters up high and away from the reach of children.

8. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional each year. This will ensure nothing has been trapped that can cause an unintended fire.

9. Have a fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen. If a fire starts that is the size of a small trash can or smaller, you can put it out with the extinguisher.

10. If you cannot contain the fire and it spreads, call 9-1-1 as soon as you can.

For a list of FPW activities and more detailed information, visit: