Firefighters highlight smoke detectors during fire prevention we - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Firefighters highlight smoke detectors during fire prevention week

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SPOKANE, Wash. -  National fire prevention week runs from Oct. 5-11, and the Spokane Fire Department has one very clear message: make sure your smoke detector works. 

Firefighters say it's important to have a working smoke detector because almost 3,000 people died nationwide from house fires in 2013, and two thirds of those people didn't have working smoke detectors.

The Spokane Fire Department says you can do three things to make sure your smoke detector works. 

First, press the test button to make sure your batteries are still working. Common batteries need to be replaced every year, but long-life lithium batteries should last 10 years -- the same amount of time as the smoke detector itself.  

Secondly, make sure your smoke detector isn't more than ten years old. If it is, firefighters say you should replace it. 

Finally, find the words "ionization" :photo-electric" or "photo-ion" on the back of the smoke detector. If you don't have these words on your smoke detector, you need to upgrade to a smoke detector that is photoelectric. 

Photoelectric smoke detectors alert you to a fire up to 40 minutes faster than the older model.

Brian Schaeffer, the Assistant Fire Chief of the Spokane Fire Department, says you can come by a fire station this week if you have any questions. 

“Fire stations are community resources," Schaeffer says. "If anyone has any questions about fire safety, they can go to their neighborhood fire stations. That's what they're for.”

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