'Smoke Alarm Saturday' March 13

MARYSVILLE — Firefighters in Snohomish County will be encouraging citizens to check their smoke alarms, and installing free smoke alarms in some areas, on "Smoke Alarm Saturday," March 13.

In Marysville, firefighters and community development staff will be at Crystal Tree Village and Glenwood Mobile Estates to check and install smoke alarms, and to replace batteries.

This is the third time the Snohomish County Fire Prevention Association has sponsored Smoke Alarm Saturday countywide. Smoke alarms save lives by providing the early warning needed to escape in a fire.

"Smoke alarms detect and alert people to fire in its early stages, giving people the time needed to escape safely," said Robert Marshall, president of the Snohomish County Fire Prevention Association. "That’s why it's so important for every home to have working smoke alarms."

"Get out alive" home fire safety steps:

• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, in each bedroom and hallway. Test batteries monthly and change your battery once a year, unless it's a 10-year long-life battery.

• Fire drills aren't just for schools. Practice escapes at home too. Develop an escape plan with two ways out of every room, then practice so everyone knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.

• If at all possible, install residential sprinklers in your home.

Each year, approximately 1,100 Americans aged 65 and older die as a result of home fires. Compared to the rest of the U.S. population, their risk of death in a fire quadruples. With a few simple steps, older people can dramatically reduce their risk of death and injury from fire.

Never smoke in bed. Put your cigarette out at the first sigh of feeling drowsy. Use deep ashtrays, and don't walk away from lit cigarettes or other smoking materials.

Never leave cooking unattended. A serious fire can start in just seconds. Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames. Never use the range or oven to heat your home, and double-check the kitchen before you go to bed or leave the house.

Keep fire in the fireplace, by making sure you have a screen large enough to catch flying sparks and rolling logs. Keep flammable materials at least three feet away from heaters. When buying a space heater, look for a control feature that automatically shuts off the power if the heater falls over.

Smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old should be replaced. Aging smoke alarms are unreliable and often are the source of nuisance alarms. "Borrowing" a smoke alarm battery can be deadly. Removing a smoke alarm battery for another use takes away its lifesaving benefits and puts your family at risk.

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