Smoke alarm will save your life
John DemasFebruary 22, 2011 1:24 PM
Smoke alarms save lives. They provide an early warning in the event of a fire and allow yourself and your family to get to safety should a fire begin.
In 2009, there was an estimated 1,348,500 fires reported in the U.S. These fires caused 3,010 deaths, 17,050 injuries and more than $12.5 billion in property damage, according to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Why do I need a smoke alarm?
Smoke alarms are an essential means of preventing house and apartment fire deaths by allowing an early warning signal. They are inexpensive and easy to install.
What type of Smoke Alarm should I buy?
There are two main types of fire alarms: ionization and photoelectric.
Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs.
Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires.
There are also smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms.
When possible, the USFA recommends the installation of both ionization and photoelectric or dual sensor smoke alarms.
Smoke Alarm Placement
Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of your home. Smoke and deadly gases rise, therefore installing alarms at the proper level allows the earliest warning possible. The manufacturer’s instructions should be followed.
Where do I purchase a smoke alarm?
Most hardware and home supply stores such as Home Depot carry smoke alarms. If you are unsure where to buy one, call your local fire department should be able to assist you.
Smoke Alarm Maintenance
While the entire unit is good for 8 to 10 years, the batteries on your smoke alarm(s) need to be replaced each year.
If you suddenly start hearing a “chirping” sound, the batteries need to be replaced and the unit needs to be reset.
Smoke alarms commonly go off while cooking, should that happen, do not disable the unit as you may forget to reset it. Instead, wave a towel near the alarm to clear the air.
U.S. Fire Administration Recommendations:
Each year you should practice and plan a fire escape strategy.
The whole family should know who to call during an emergency – including the local fire department and family members.
Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher and all family members should know how to use it.
You should consider installing carbon monoxide detectors as well. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of poisoning death in the United States. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, making its detection impossible without a carbon monoxide monitor.
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