1. Install Smoke Alarms to Help Protect Your Home and Family
Fire is a deadly threat to any household. It can strike anywhere, at any time so it is important that you and your family are prepared. Smoke alarms help provide early warning in the event of a fire in your home. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends smoke alarms be installed on every level of the home, inside every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. In the basement, smoke alarms should be installed at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the next level.
Mount smoke alarms in the middle of the ceiling when ceiling mounted. If that is not possible, mount detectors on the wall at least three feet away from a corner and within 12 inches from the ceiling. Keep smoke alarms away from drafts created by fans or air ducts. The moving air can blow smoke away from the sensor on the alarm. Avoid placing fire alarms too close to the kitchen stove and bathroom shower, as cooking smoke and shower steam can cause nuisance alarms. If you do install a smoke alarm in the kitchen, ensure it is at least 10 feet away from any cooking appliances to help avoid false alarms.
The NFPA recommends testing your smoke alarms at least once a month to ensure they are working and replace the batteries every 6 months or if a low battery chirp occurs. When replacing batteries, follow the user manual which includes a full list of approved batteries for your alarm. Smoke alarms should also be replaced at least every 10 years. Fire alarms with a 10-year sealed battery should be replaced after 10 years and when the end-of-life warning occurs.
There are different types of smoke alarms including battery, and hardwired. All are effective at detecting smoke and fire, but the type of alarm you choose will depend on your home and family’s needs.
Never ignore the sound of the smoke alarm. If the smoke alarm is sounding, there is a reason. You and your family must be able to escape quickly and safely. Here are several safety tips your family can learn and practice to prepare for an emergency: