Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016: Don’t Wait — Check the Date! Replace Smoke Detectors Every 10 Years
Almost 2,500 people die in home fires every year in the United States. Most of these people live in homes that do not have working smoke alarms. Approximately 60 percent of home fire deaths result from fires in which smoke alarms were not present or didn’t work. Do you know how old your smoke detectors are or how often they should be replaced? Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. To find out how old a smoke detector is, remove it from the wall or ceiling and look at the manufacture date on the back of the alarm.
You should put a smoke alarm on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and inside every bedroom. There are many brands of smoke alarms on the market, including alarms for people who are deaf or blind. These alarms may have strobe lights that flash and⁄or vibrate to alert those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound. For the best protection, make sure all alarms are interconnected — when one sounds, they all sound.
Have you checked your smoke alarm to make sure it’s still working? A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all. Test the alarm monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year. A smoke alarm only works when it is properly installed and regularly tested. Some fire departments will install battery-operated alarms in your home for free. Contact your local fire department’s non-emergency number for more information.
The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms save lives. Keep your family safe by putting working smoke alarms in your home.