Fire Prevention Week to focus on sounds of fire safety

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jack Gardner
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Fire Emergency Services Flight wants people to keep their ears open during this year’s Fire Prevention Week.

The 2021 national theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety: What is Your Alarm Telling You?” 

The 788th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department will host its annual fire truck parade Oct. 2 in base housing areas. Starting at noon, the trucks will begin driving through the Brick Quarters Woods. The parade will end in the Prairies.

“Our focus this year is to explain what the sounds of fire safety are,” Assistant Fire Chief Larry Osterhage said. “The theme works to educate everyone in the community about the different sounds the smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will keep you and your family safe.”

Every year, at least 430 people die in the U.S. from accidental carbon-monoxide poisoning, according to the National Fire Protection Association. About 50,000 Americans visit emergency rooms.

Working smoke alarms in the home reduce the risk of dying in a reported fire by more than half, base fire emergency officials say. More than 40% of fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms, while 16% result from home smoke alarms that failed to operate.

During Saturday’s parade, the WPAFB Fire Department will hand out fire-prevention education materials and plastic helmets to children. A coloring contest will also be held and judged by base firefighters toward the end of October.

“We look forward to interacting with the community in a safe and appropriate way,” Osterhage said. “It is important that we continue to educate as many as we can about what they need to be listening for in an emergency.”

Wright-Patterson Fire and Emergency Services officials encourage all residents to be aware and educated on the different sounds of fire. They also offer some safety and emergency tips:

  • Sleep with your mobile device, glasses and phone close to your bed.
  • Keep hallways and other pathways lit with nightlights and free from clutter to make sure everyone can get out safely.
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area, on every home level  and in the basement.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology, including multisensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms.