Each year more than 2,500 people die in fires, most of them in residential occupancies. National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9 through 15 and the theme is "Protect Your Family From Fire." Fire departments throughout the country will be working to emphasize fire safety awareness. The New Canaan Fire Department will be participating as well.

Fire fighters will be visiting schools throughout town giving demonstrations on how to stay fire safe.

Also, school groups will be touring the fire house to learn about how the fire fighters live and work. Further, Fire Marshal Fred Baker will be at the NewCanaan Nature Center Fall Festival on Oct. 15, with handouts and fire safety information for kids of all ages.

Following is a list of general fire safety tips to help stay safe at home:

First and foremost, have smoke detectors installed on each level of the home and inside each bedroom and make sure they have fresh batteries;

Have a home escape plan and hold fire drills to make sure all family members are familiar with the plan;

Never overload outlets and never use extension cords in place of permanent wiring. With today's multitude of electronic devises, older homes may need additional outlets installed;

Check cords on appliances for any signs of damage and replace if necessary;

If you have an automatic fire alarm system, have it serviced by a certified alarm company at least once each year;

Have heating systems cleaned/serviced each year to insure continued safe (and efficient) operation;

Install CO (carbon monoxide) detectors on each level of your home to protect you and your family for the "silent killer;"

CO and smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old should be replaced as they have reached the end of their life expectancy.

Also a courtesy home inspection is available to residents. A representative from the fire marshal's office will visit your home and review fire safety. There is no cost for this visit.

To schedule a home visit or, for questions regarding fire safety topics, please contact the fire marshal's office at 203-594-3030.

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