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Will Smoke Detectors Save Your Life?

It’s Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 9 to 15), so take a tour of your home today and make sure you’re doing everything possible to protect your family from fire.

The National Fire Prevention Associatio n has these sobering facts about home fires on its website.

• One home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds in 2009.

• An average of seven people die every day in a home fire.

• In 2009, U.S. fire departments responded to 362,500 home structure fires, which caused 12,650 civilian injuries, 2,565 civilian deaths and $7.6 billion in direct damage.

Here are some simple things you can do to protect your family and property.

• Change the batteries in your smoke detectors once a year. Functioning smoke detectors cut the risk of dying in a fire in half according to the National Fire Prevention Association.

• Smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old should be replaced. Check the label on the back for the expiry date.

• Hard-wired alarm systems should be serviced regularly.

• Make an escape plan and practice it with your children. Tell them it’s a fire drill, just like at school.

• If your smoke detectors go off, don’t presume it’s a false alarm. Get out of your house first and then investigate.

When was the last time you checked your smoke detection system?

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