Are Your Smoke Alarms Up-to-Date?
Smoke alarms are important to have in our homes and in proper working condition. When installed and properly maintained, smoke alarms can dramatically reduce the risk of injuries caused by fires.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke alarms are to be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping areas, and on every level of the house. Their website provides great learning tools for teaching children about smoke alarms and emergency plans. Business owners should consult the Chesapeake Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.
Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home. Think about how you are placing an alarm. Make sure it is in a location that, if there were a fire, it would quickly detect the smoke. Do not install the smoke alarm where it could be blocked or damaged.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen and shower to prevent false alarms. They should be at least around 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button. Set the date on your calendar and be consistant to form a good habit. This is also a good time to review and practice your emergency escape plan.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year, though twice would be best. Daylight savings times in March and November can be good dates to set for this. Again, try to schedule this on your calendar. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away. Do not wait!
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. If you do not know how old your smoke alarm is, go ahead and replace it. Newer alarms on the market also offer carbon monoxide detection as well as voice alarms, which have shown to be more effective in waking children up.
Here at SERVPRO Chesapeake South, we believe in PREVENTION first.