Annual Fire Prevention campaign focuses on smoke alarms

by the 86th Civil Engineer Group

The Ramstein Fire Department recently teamed up with the National Fire Protection Association for National Fire Prevention Week Oct. 9 to 15 with the theme “Beep! Beep! Beep! Smoke Alarms: A sound you can live with.”

Though the official campaign is designed for one particular week, fire officials continue to raise awareness on the importance of fire safety, specifically in regards to smoke alarms at home and work.

The reality is, smoke alarms save lives. Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths happen because of the lack of and inoperative smoke alarms. When there is a fire, smoke spreads very fast and a working smoke alarm provides advanced warning and, more importantly, the time to get out.

This year’s campaign is designed to educate people about the importance of smoke alarms and encourages everyone to take the steps necessary to update and maintain their home smoke alarm protection.

The Ramstein Fire Department will be visiting schools, the commissary and the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center to provide tips and information on how to keep everyone safe at work and at home.

Additionally, KMC members are encouraged to attend an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 30 in Bldg. 2303, Fire Station 1, located on the flightline. There will be activities for all ages, fire safety demonstrations and information about this year’s fire prevention theme.

Officials offer a few key tips to help enhance home fire safety plans:
• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

• If smoke alarms do not respond properly when tested, replace them immediately. On-base residents should contact housing maintenance at 06371-46-39510 for replacement. Off-base residents should notify their landlords to have the smoke detector replaced immediately.

• Replace batteries in all battery operated smoke alarms at least once a year. If the smoke alarm “chirps,” it’s warning you the battery is low and needs to be replaced right away.

• Never paint smoke alarms. Paint, stickers or other decorations could keep the alarms from working

• Smoke alarms can be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner without removing the smoke alarm’s cover.

The Ramstein Fire Department is always available to assist. For more information, call the Fire Prevention Office at 480-5940 or 06371-47-5940.