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Check smoke alarms, batteries

A house fire in Wesson Sunday serves as a reminder of the importance of fire safety. Thankfully, the house was under renovation and unoccupied at the time of the fire. The house was completed destroyed.

Fire prevention week was earlier this month but it’s a good a time as any to check on smoke alarms if you haven’t already.

State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney urges everyone to test smoke alarms monthly and to replace batteries in alarms once a year. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.

A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced, according to Chaney’s office. “That lack of awareness is a concern for all Mississippians and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever,” the department said in a news release.

“Time and again, I’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” said Chaney. “That’s why the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office is continuing a concerted effort to educate Mississippians about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”

To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date — not the date of purchase.

Smoke alarms can save lives but only if they are working properly.