Fire-Rescue Launches New Smoke Alarm Program

Loudoun County’s Combined Fire and Rescue System will launch its new Smoke Alarm Program Saturday, May 4, with fire and rescue personnel out in the community offering free smoke alarm inspections.

The Smoke Alarm Program campaign will continue on the first Saturday of each month through October. Crews from each of Loudoun’s fire and rescue stations will be canvassing Loudoun neighborhoods from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering free smoke alarm assessments and safety information. Firefighters will test existing smoke alarms, help with replacing batteries, make sure the alarms are not older than the 10-year recommended lifespan, and provide information about home escape planning and fire safety.

Fire-rescue officials hope to make sure every Loudoun resident has enough working smoke alarms in their homes to alert them in case of fire.

“Modern homes burn up to eight times faster than those built between 1950 and 1970,” stated System Chief Keith Johnson. “During a house fire, you only have an average of three minutes to escape your home. Smoke alarms are crucial to alerting you to smoke and fire and providing you those precious minutes to escape. According to the National Fire Protection Association, working smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in a fire by half.”

Loudouners can also request a smoke alarm assessment at any time by completing the online smoke alarm assessment request form at www.loudoun.gov/smokealarms or by calling the Smoke Alarm Program hotline at 703-737-8093.

The fire-rescue system recommends several tips to make sure smoke alarms are working correctly, including:

  • Test the smoke alarm each month by pressing and holding the test button.
  • Replace batteries based on manufacturer’s recommendations or sooner if it begins to chirp. Some alarms need a battery replacement each year, while other alarms have a long-life battery that lasts several years.
  • Replace smoke alarms after 10 years. Check the manufacture date on the back of the alarm.
  • For the best protection, smoke alarms should be located on the ceiling on every level, outside sleeping areas and inside each bedroom.
  • Smoke alarms should be hardwired and interconnected when possible.

For more information about the Smoke Alarm Program, contact Public Education Manager Lisa Braun at 703-737-8093 or email lifesafety@loudoun.gov.

For more fire and life safety information, go to www.loudoun.gov/fire or follow Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System on social media.

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