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Smoke Alarms

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Every home needs a device that can wake people up in time to escape

Smoke Detector

 Smoke alarms contribute significantly to the safety of your family by sensing smoke long before fire has time to spread.

Fire, smoke and toxic gases move swiftly and silently through a structure, reducing visibility and your ability to safely escape from the house. Poisonous gases and smoke from fire can numb the senses in a very short time.

Choosing a Smoke Alarm

  • There are several name brands available including Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Factory Mutual (FM).
  • A combination ionization/photoelectric smoke alarm is recommended.
  • Smoke alarms are available for the hearing impaired and can be purchased through local fire equipment companies.
  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for installation, testing and maintenance. 

How Many Smoke Alarms Do You Need?

  • Install at least one smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and one on each level of the home.
  • Smoke alarms are not recommended certain areas because of false alarms. In these areas, install a heat detector.
    • Kitchens because of false alarms from cooking vapors,
    • Garages where automobile exhaust might cause false alarms,
    • Attics or other unheated spaces where extremes of temperature or humidity might affect their operation.

Installation - Where and How?

To install most smoke alarms, all you need is a screwdriver and a drill.

  • Smoke alarms should not be mounted near air vents.
  • Because smoke rises, each alarm should be mounted high on a wall or on the ceiling to detect traces of smoke.
  • Wall mounted alarms should be no less than 4" or nor more than 12" from the ceiling. 
  • Ceiling mounted detectors should be at least 4" from a wall. 
  • If you are a renter, the property owner is responsible for installing and maintaining alarms.

Maintenance 

It's extremely important to test and clean all detectors regularly.

  • Test your alarm at least once a month and most alarms are equipped with a test button.
  • Dust or cobwebs can reduce an alarm's sensitivity to smoke.
  • Clean them at least 3-4 times a year by using the brush end of your vacuum cleaner.
  • Replace the batteries at least once a year if the alarm is battery operated.
  • Smoke alarms need to be replaced every ten years and never paint a smoke alarm.

Carbon Dioxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide

Fire Escape Planning

Basics of Escaping a Fire

Fire Evacuations Tips for People with Disabilities

Calling 9-1-1 in an Emergency