In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
What You Need to Know About Home Smoke Alarms:
• Why Are Smoke Alarms So Important?
Simply put—smoke alarms save lives. Smoke spreads fast when there is a fire, and smoke alarms give you time to get out. Smoke alarms could reduce your risk of dying from a fire in your home by almost half.
• Are Smoke Alarms Expensive?
No! There are tested and approved units on the market for $10-$15. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms are considered to be one of the least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire.
• Where Should I Install Smoke Alarms?
Smoke alarms should be installed as follows:
- In every bedroom
- In every hallway leading to a bedroom
- On every level of the home (including the basement) Places to avoid include: garages, kitchens, and bathrooms. Consult the manufacturer’s installation instructions for detailed installation instructions. Most instructions recommend installing smoke alarms on the ceiling, or on the walls between 6 and 12 inches below the ceiling. Avoid installing alarms too close to heating ducts, air vents, and fluorescent lights.
• How Do I Maintain My Smoke Alarm?
Smoke alarms can only work if they are properly located, installed, and maintained. Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with either no smoke alarms or no smoke alarms that work.
- Test alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries are designed to work for 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire alarm immediately.
- For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace the battery right away.
- If a smoke alarm does not respond when tested, it needs to be replaced.
- Gently vacuum the grillwork of your alarm to remove dust, bugs, and other debris that may prevent the alarm from functioning properly.
• My Smoke Alarms Are Installed & Working, What Now?
Make sure your family knows the sound of a smoke alarm and what it means. Talk to them about what to do in the event that the alarm goes off. People who wake up to the sound of a smoke alarm are often confused, especially children and the elderly. To avoid panic, make sure that you have rehearsed an exit plan.