The Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department, in cooperation with the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Fire Prevention Week, will spend time next week with elementary students to teach them the importance of fire safety.

Mayor Duane Oestmann issued a proclamation Oct. 4 that Oct. 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week in Arkansas City.

“Many kids know more about fire safety than adults do,” said Fire Chief Bobby Wolfe.

Fire and smoke detectors should be checked monthly, and the batteries should be changed at least every six months. The fire department can assist citizens with this, as well as provide free detectors to anyone who asks for them.

Interior doors should be closed at night to add protection to bedrooms in case of fire.

Windows all should be functioning, not painted shut or inaccessible, because they serve as possible exits in an emergency.

Fire extinguishers should be located in both the kitchen and laundry room, as well as the garage.

Individuals living in the house should have a safe place to meet on the property in case of fire, in order to ensure that first responders know who might be trapped in the fire. In case of fire, exit the structure, call for help and remain outside the structure.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait—Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” represents the final year of the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s three-year effort to educate the public about basic, but essential elements of smoke alarm safety.

The National Fire Protection Agency’s survey data show the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which might put people at increased risk in the event of a home fire.

As a result of those and related findings, the Kansas Fire Marshal is addressing smoke alarm replacement this year with a focus on these key messages:

  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
  • Make sure to know how old all of the smoke alarms are in a home.
  • To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm — the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

The fire marshal’s website also has a quiz for fire safety that can be taken by visiting www.firemarshal.ks.gov.