Smoke Detectors SAVE
point to a fifty percent reduction in fire fatalities since the
introduction of smoke alarms into the home. Although 90% of all
residences have smoke alarms today, no smoke alarms were present in
42% of residential structure fires where fatalities occurred. Smoke
alarms were present in 58% of fatal residential structure fires, but
only operational in 37% of those fatal fires. That means that most
often where smoke alarms are present in a fatal fire, the smoke alarm
is nonfunctional due to dead or missing batteries.
Even well-maintained smoke alarms have a 30 percent chance that
they will fail to operate in a fire.
officials estimate that at least 50 percent of lives lost due to
residential fires could be saved by installing early warning fire
detection devices and developing and practicing an evacuation plan.
YOU MOVE OUT OF A RENTED UNIT - PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THE SMOKE
DETECTOR WITH YOU. IT JUST MAY ALARM OTHER RESIDENTS OF AN EMERGENCY.
is recommended, and sometimes required, that smoke detectors not be
placed in kitchens because the small amounts of smoke and cooking
matter generated while cooking may set them off. Detectors designed for use near a kitchen may have a
silence button to cancel accidental triggering.
the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms
will provide an early warning signal to your household. This alarm
could save your own life and those of your loved ones by providing the
chance to escape.
ARE MANY LAWS IN EVERY STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT REQUIRE
AT LEAST ONE SMOKE DETECTOR IN EVERY HOME. THEY MUST BE
LOCATED IN THE BEDROOM AREA. IF YOU RENT, YOUR LANDLORD
SHOULD HAVE SUPPLIED YOU WITH ONE. YOU SHOULD TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY
TO MAKE SURE THE ALARM IS WORKING. MANY LAWS ALSO REQUIRE A
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR.
DETECTOR Helpful Tip : Pick
a holiday or your birthday and replace the batteries each year
on that day.
smoke alarms hard to install?
No. In most cases, all you will need is a screwdriver. Many brands
are self-adhesive and will automatically stick to the wall or ceiling
where they are placed. However, be sure to follow the directions from
the manufacturer because each brand is different. If you are
uncomfortable standing on a ladder, ask a relative or friend for help.
Some fire departments will actually install a smoke alarm in your home
for you. Call your local fire department (again, on a non-emergency
telephone number) if you have problems installing a smoke alarm.
do I keep my smoke alarms working?
alarms are very easy to take care of. There are two steps to remember.
Simply replace the batteries at least once a year.
Keep them clean. Dust and debris can interfere with their
operation, so vacuum over and around your smoke alarm regularly.
if the alarm goes off while I'm cooking?
it's doing its job. Do not disable your smoke alarm if it alarms due
to cooking or other non-fire causes. You may not remember to put the
batteries back in the alarm after cooking. Instead, clear the air by
waving a towel near the alarm, leaving the batteries in place. The
alarm may have to be moved to a new location.
BUT DO NOT REMOVE IT FROM THE HOUSE.
long will my smoke alarm last?
eight-to-ten years, after which it should be replaced. Like most
electrical devices, smoke alarms wear out. You may want to write the
purchase date with a marker on the inside of your unit. That way,
you'll know when to replace it. Always follow the manufacturer's
instructions for replacement.
else I should know?
smoke alarms are considered to be "hard wired." This means
they are connected to the household electrical system and may or may
not have battery back-up. It's important to test every smoke alarm
monthly. And always use new batteries when replacing old ones.
smoke alarms now on the market come with a ten-year battery. These
alarms are designed to be replaced as a whole unit, thus avoiding the
need for battery replacement. If your smoke alarm starts making a
"chirping" noise, replace the batteries and reset it.
any appliance, smoke alarms wear out after time. Ten years is the
recommended replacement time.