Fire Prevention

An OSFM fire prevention specialist inspecting a new facilityThe Prevention Division works to reduce the potential impact of fire and explosion hazards where people live, work, and congregate. This team focuses on inspecting facilities which pose distinct fire hazards and where the potential loss of life from fire is very high.

The division is also responsible for the promotion of fire safety and the education of building owners, operators, and occupants, and the general public. Both office and field personnel are active educators, presenting a variety of program topics across the state of Kansas.

Our office even employs a dedicated Education Consultant to work with local fire and law enforcement jurisdictions, helping to educate kids on fire safety and prevent them from starting fires.


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Change Your Clocks, Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries

Office of the State Fire Marshal | Mar 04, 2014

TOPEKA — Daylight Savings Time begins March 9, and as communities prepare to “spring ahead” one hour, the Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshal urges residents to practice fire safety by testing their smoke alarms and changing the batteries. Alkaline batteries should be replaced at least once a year, and a good rule of thumb is to change the batteries when you change your clocks. 

“Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home is the single most important step you can take to increase your family’s safety from a home fire,” explains Doug Jorgensen, State Fire Marshal. "Your risk of dying in a fire is greatly reduced when your home is equipped with working smoke alarms,” he continues.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire. 

To protect your home, follow these smoke alarm safety tips:
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home, including in the basement.
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, replace only the battery. Date each unit when they are installed and replace them after ten years – or sooner if they do not successfully pass the test by sounding the alarm when the test button is pressed.
In addition to changing smoke alarm batteries, it is also a good idea to practice a family escape plan:
  • Plan and practice two escape routes out of every room in your house.
  • Designate an outside meeting place.
  • In case of fire, call 9-1-1 once you are safely outside your home.
  • Once outside, stay outside and don’t return for anything – not even a pet.

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