Gordon County Fire & Rescue last week visited area county schools in observance of Fire Prevention Week.

This year’s theme “Don’t Wait-Check the Date! Replace Fire Alarms Every 10 Years” was discussed with the students, with the importance of knowing how old a home smoke alarm is and the importance of changing them. For three years in a row, the National Fire Protection Association has concentrated on a smoke alarm theme for Fire Prevention Week because survey data shows that there are many misconceptions of smoke alarms, which puts the public at increased safety risks in the event of a home fire.

GCF&R wants to remind residents that it is important to know how old a home smoke alarm is and to replace it every 10 years. To find out how old a smoke alarm is, simply look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; if it’s over 10 years old, replace it. According to GCF&R, It’s also important to change batteries in a smoke alarm twice per year; a good time to change batteries in a smoke alarm is during the time changes in the fall and spring.

Last week, GCF&R visited students at Belwood Elementary, Fairmount Elementary, Red Bud Elementary, Tolbert Elementary, W.L. Swain Elementary and Sonoraville Elementary in observance of Fire Prevention Week. Students watched a fire safety video, which was followed by a live presentation which included the topics Stop, Drop and Roll, smoke alarms and different fire hazards such as candles, unattended cooking, plug-ins and phone chargers. The students also watched as the firefighers demonstrated how they suit up for a fire and showed them the equipment they use.

The students received a package from the National Fire Prevention Association to take home and share with their parents.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Fire Prevention Week was established in rememberance of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which occurred Oct. 8-9 of that year, killing more than 250 people and leaving 100,000 homeless, burning more than 17,400 structuers on more than 2,000 acres.

For more information on Fire Prevention Week or replacing smoke alarms, visit www.nfpa.org.