Fort Myers Beach gets lesson on fire safety

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FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. – The Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District observed Fire Prevention Week by educating the public on fire safety from a booth at Times Square on Wednesday.

This is the third year the National Fire Protection Association has dedicated Fire Prevention Week to tips about smoke alarms. The previous themes, “Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month” in 2014 and “Hear The Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” in 2015, predate 2016’s smoke alarm theme: “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.”

William Genevrino, a fire prevention specialist on Fort Myers Beach, said many people he spoke with Wednesday knew about changing out their smoke alarms’ batteries. But with this year’s focus on smoke alarms, Genevrino was shocked people were unaware of smoke alarms’ expiration dates.

“It’s quite surprising they are not aware these devices have an expiration date of 10 years and should be replaced at 10 years,” he said. “Everyone seems to know that the batteries should be changed at six month intervals when we set our clocks back and forth.”

Misconceptions about smoke alarms can pose dangers to the safety of people in their own homes, according to the NFPA. That’s why the organization has continued to highlight smoke alarm education.

Fire Prevention Week was created in response to the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which killed more than 250 people and destroyed more than 17,400 structures, rendering 100,000 people homeless, according to NFPA.

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