Smoke Alarms Save Lives
We’ve all heard Smokey the Bear give his famous, sage advice: “Only you can prevent forest fires.”
While Smokey was right on the mark with his advice and, no doubt, saved millions of trees and countless lives with his message, the same applies to the effect you can have on your home and those you care about most: Your family.
How can you protect what means the most to you? By using quality smoke alarms and ensuring they are kept in good working order, maintained and tested regularly.
Key Points to remember:
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old
Step 1- Choosing the best:
The most important consideration is one that uses two types of detection: Ionization and photoelectric. Using a dual-sensor alarm system adds a layer of protection for your family. The ionization detector option sounds the alarm faster when a fire is a fast-flame type. Photoelectric detectors sound the alarm best when a fire is slow and smoldering.
Step 2- Installing them properly
This isn’t about just buying one fire alarm and putting it in the living room or kitchen. No, you need one smoke alarm outside each bedroom and another one in the hallway or central area of each level in the home.
Alarms should be mounted on the ceiling, since heat and smoke rises. Keep them several inches from the wall, and away from both cold air return and fresh air supply vents.
Step 3- Maintenance and testing
Most fire alarms come with a simple button for testing purposes. Once each month, safely climb up on a chair or ladder and push the button. A loud, very irritating screeching sound will emanate, indicating it is ready for action. Pushing the button again usually turns it off. While you are up there testing, use a blast of compressed air to clear away dust, cobwebs, and anything else that could interfere with the operation of the smoke alarm. Do this for all the alarms in your home.
Don’t forget to change the batteries on an annual basis. Set a reminder on your electronic devices, such as your phone or tablet, or pencil it in on a paper calendar.
Step 4- Plan your escape:
Your ability to get out of your house during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
- Get everyone in your household together and make a home escape plan . Walk through your home and look for two ways out of every room.
- Make sure escape routes are clear of debris and doors and windows open easily. Windows with security bars or grills should have an emergency release device.
- Plan an outside meeting place where everyone will meet once they have escaped. A good meeting place is something permanent, like a tree, light pole, or mailbox a safe distance in front of the home.
- If there are infants, older adults, family members with mobility limitations or children who do not wake to the sound of the smoke alarm, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the event of an emergency.
If the unthinkable happens, and fire does occur in your home, don’t forget your disaster restoration professionals are ready for action. They can restore your home and belongings. After all, it pays to call a pro!