Each year, more than 2,500 people die in fires, most of them in residence. National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 7 through 13 this year, and the theme is "Have Two Ways Out." Fire departments throughout the country will be working to emphasize fire safety awareness. The New Canaan Fire Department will be participating as well.

Firefighters will visit schools throughout town giving demonstrations on how to stay fire safe. Also, school groups will tour the firehouse to learn about how the firefighters live and work.

Further, the Fire Department will host an open house at fire headquarters at 60 Elm St., Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please join us for many great, educational activities such as the hose squirt, tours of the firehouse and a visit from the Convincer, a roll-over simulator that shows the importance of wearing seat belts.

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

Foremost, have smoke detectors installed on each level of the home and inside each sleeping room, 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 ensure continued safe (and efficient) operation;

Install 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 over 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 in your home. There is no cost for this visit.

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

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