Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths occurred in homes without working smoke alarms. Since most fatal fires occur at night, it’s essential that every home have working smoke alarms to provide an early warning. Working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire by 50 percent.
Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, in the hallways leading to the bedrooms, and on each level of your home including the basement. Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4” from the wall; wall mounts should be 4-12” from the ceiling. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents.). Call your local fire department if you are unsure about placement.
Change Your Clocks – Change Your Batteries
Batteries in a smoke alarm should be changed at least twice a year, even if they are hardwired into the electrical. A good time to remember to check your smoke alarm and change the batteries is when you change your clocks twice a year as daylight saving time begins and ends.
Smoke Alarm Maintenance
In addition to changing the batteries twice a year, you should test your smoke alarm every month by simply holding down on the test button. Vacuum your alarm at least once a year. Dust and cobwebs can impair sensitivity. Never paint over a smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
When the Alarm Goes Off
If the alarm goes off crawl low to the ground under the smoke and exit your home quickly. Don’t try to take anything with you, just get out. Once safely outside, go to your family meeting place to ensure that everyone got out safely. Once you’re out, Stay out!
Make sure to prepare and practice an escape plan including a family meeting place. Just like schools practice fire drills, families should also practice what to do if their smoke alarms go off.
Remember, almost every day a smoke alarm saves somebody’s life.
Test smoke alarms once a month
Replace batteries in smoke alarms twice a year
Regularly vacuum or dust smoke alarms to keep them working properly
Don’t disable smoke alarms, even temporarily