"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by installing and testing smoke alarms

Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer


RICHMOND (October 10, 2022) – National Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15 and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) reminds Virginia residents to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their home.

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.

Working smoke alarms are an essential part of any home fire escape plan. According to the NFPA, three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.

“You may have as little as two minutes – or even less time – to safely get out of your home during a fire,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm greatly increases your chances of surviving a home fire.”

Follow these tips to protect you and your family:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas
  • Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound
  • Test smoke alarms monthly by pushing the “test” button and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it
  • Check the manufacturer’s date. If the alarm is 10 years or older, it needs to be replaced
  • Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if it goes off

VDFP is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week. Each day, VDFP will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.