Smoke Alarms Save Lives
What is the best way to protect your home and family against a house fire? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoke alarms are the best offense in fire protection when installed and used properly.
All smoke alarms in your home should be tested once a month to ensure they are in working condition. To test an alarm you will push the push the "TEST" button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries should be replaced every ten years. For smoke alarms with replaceable batteries, it's advised to switch the batteries out annually, and replace the entire unit every ten years. A few suggestions to timing in switching batteries in the alarms would be to do it on the first day of spring or daylight savings. When the alarm begins to chip because of low battery, make it a priority to replace the battery as soon as possible. Never disarm or remove a battery completely from a smoke alarm. In almost 50% of fires where smoke alarms were present, but did not function properly, this was due to a removed or disconnected battery.
Take a look around your home to make sure the smoke detectors are located in the correct places for maximum protection. There should be one alarm in every bedroom, outside of each bedroom and one on each level, at minimum. For larger homes, more smoke alarms may be required. If you are unsure about installing or testing your smoke alarms, an electrician or your local fire department can assist.
Be sure that your household has a plan in place in the event of a fire emergency. Practice fire drills with your family regularly, to ensure that all family members are aware of what to do in case of a fire. Talk with your family about a designated area outside of your home to use as a meeting place in the event of a fire evacuation.