SIDNEY — The Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services is gearing up for Fire Prevention Week.
“Every year the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) coordinates a Fire Prevention Week with special messaging that draws attention to specific fire safety education and awareness topics. The message this year is, ‘Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!’ This messaging will place emphasis on smoke and carbon monoxide detector education,” Sidney Fire Chief Chad Hollinger said.
Fire Prevention Week 2021 will take place from Oct. 3 through 9. This year marks the 99th observance of the NFPA sponsored Fire Prevention Week, which first occurred in 1922. Three years later, Fire Prevention Week was federally recognized by President Calvin Coolidge.
Fire Prevention Week is observed annually the week of Oct. 9 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The tragic fire resulted in more than 250 fatalities and caused the destruction of over 17,400 structures according to the NFPA.
The message this year, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” focuses on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
“The city of Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services has been sharing the value of detectors with the public for many decades. We believe so strongly that, ‘Smoke Detectors Save Lives’ that we put the message on our fire apparatus. Additionally, carbon monoxide detectors are just as valuable. Both types of detectors should be present and operational in every residence,” Hollinger said.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have a 10 year operational life. Detectors make several distinct sounds that have become industry standards. When alarming, smoke detectors will sound three loud beeps repetitively and carbon monoxide will sound four loud repeating beeps.
“If a detector alarms, you should immediately get out of the residence, call 911, and stay out of the residence until fire personnel make it safe to go back in,” Hollinger said.
Additionally, NFPA’s “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires” report, issued February of this year, found that almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (41%) or no working smoke alarms (16%). From 2014 to 2018, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (54%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
A chirping sound that occurs every 30 to 60 seconds means that the battery is due to be changed. If, after changing the battery, the chirping continues the detector is indicating that it needs to be replaced.
For Fire Prevention Week, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services will host a night of family, food and fun from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4, at Station 1, 222 W. Poplar St., Sidney. The event is being held in partnership with Ashley Himes State Farm, Swartz Contracting, and the American Red Cross. Department apparatus will be available to tour and personnel will be conducting fire safety education throughout the event. All members of the public are welcome to attend this educational event to be held in the apparatus bay at Station 1. The space is large enough to allow for social distancing and attendees are encouraged to wear masks, but are not required to do so.
The Sidney Daily News conducts a periodic interview to update readers with news from the Sidney Fire and Emergency Services Department, 222 W. Poplar St., Sidney.