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October is here and that means Fire Prevention Week!  Fire Prevention Week was established in remembrance of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  The Great Chicago Fire started on October 8, 1871, but did most of the damage on October 9th, so Prevention Week is held on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9th falls each year.  Celebrated October 5-11 this year,  this year’s message is “Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month”.  With that in mind here are a few tips to help you keep you and your family safe.

-NFPA(National Fire Protection Agency) advises home owners to install Smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and on every level of the home.

-Test all smoke alarms at least once a month, by pressing the test button on the alarm to ensure proper operation.

-There are two types of alarms; Ionization Alarms that are quicker to warn occupants of flaming fires and Photoelectric Alarms that are quicker to warn occupants of smoldering fires.  NFPA suggests home owners use both types in their home.

-Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling or high on a wall and smoke alarms should be kept out of the kitchen to reduce false alarms, at least 10 feet from the stove.

-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

-Create a home escape plan so your family knows what to do if the smoke alarms go off and practice it to work out the kinks.

-If you have a fire in your home, GET OUT AND STAY OUT!  Never go back inside for pets or belongings.

-If you have to escape through smoke, GET LOW AND GO under the smoke.

-And don’t forget to call the Fire Department.

Fall marks the start of the hydrant testing process for the Fire Department.  Each year 20% of the hydrants in the city get tested, with all the hydrants being tested in a 5 year span.  Each of the selected hydrants will be flowed, pressure checked, examined for damage, and all information recorded.  If a hydrant is found to be insufficient or damaged, it is flagged and that information is passed to the Water department so it may be prepared.  You may have observed the fire boys flowing hydrants earlier this month, but all efforts have come to a halt until further notice due to the water main break at Orchard and Washington.

Well, that's about it for this month.  Until next time, don't forget to wave to the guys in the BRT.