If smoke alarms are
not already in place, install them outside each sleeping area and
on each additional level of your home in accordance with local
codes. Smoke alarms cut your chances of dying in a home
fire nearly in half. Smoke alarms sense abnormal amounts of smoke
or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both
smoldering and flaming fires. The National Fire Alarm Code(r) (NFPA
72) now requires hard- wired smoke alarms in new homes.
If people sleep with
doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas too.
If a fire occurs inside the room, dangerous gases can cause
heavier sleep. Smoke alarms inside bedrooms will be more likely to
Vacuum cobwebs and
dust from your smoke alarms monthly. Smoke alarms are
less sensitive when they are dirty. Keep them operating most
Use the test button to
test your smoke alarms once a month. The test feature
tests all electronic functions and is safer than testing with a
controlled fire (matches, lighters, cigarettes). If necessary,
replace batteries immediately. Make sure children know what your
smoke alarm sounds like.
If you have
battery-powered smoke alarms, replace batteries at least once a
year. Some agencies recommend you replace batteries
when the time changes from standard daylight savings each spring
and again in the fall. "Change your clock, change your batteries,"
is a positive theme and has become a common phrase. While
replacing batteries this often certainly will not hurt, available
data show that batteries will last at least a year, so more
frequent replacement is not necessary. Also, time does not change
in Arizona, Hawaii, the eastern portion of Indiana, Puerto Rico,
American Samoa, and Guam.
Replace your smoke
alarms every 10 years. Smoke alarms become less
sensitive over time. This is a joint recommendation by the
National Fire Protection Association and the
Products Safety Commission.