My husband Curt, is a FireFighter. He has been with the fire department for 13 years. Unfortunately, he has responded to calls where there has been a loss of life that may have been prevented if there had been working smoke alarms in the home. It is heartbreaking to hear that people thought their smoke alarms were working only to find out in the most horrific way they were not.
To be honest, I have to share with you, that before my husband became a firefighter we really did not think too much about our smoke alarms. We just knew that we had them, and when they began to chirp we would replace the batteries. That was it, we did not check them on a monthly basis. We did not replace the batteries like we do now. When we spring ahead or fall back with Daylight Saving Time, we now change our batteries in our smoke alarms. We have replaced a few of our smoke alarms to the newer style where the internal battery last up to 10 years. We still test all smoke alarms monthly to ensure they are all still working properly.
October is National Fire Prevention Month. Fire Prevention week this year is October 4-10, 2015. Fire Prevention week was established to commemorate the great Chicago fire of 1871.
Hear the Beep Where you Sleep is this year’s focus. Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm.
The key message of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign is to install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms. Source
According to NFPA, roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 P.M -7 A.M when most people are asleep. Having working smoke alarms in and around sleeping areas save lives.
Smoke Alarms Help Save Lives – Smoke spreads fast during a fire. Smoke alarms alert us to a fire allowing us time to get out. The NFPA says that having a working smoke alarm cuts your risk of dying in a reported fire in half. In half just by making sure that you have a working smoke alarm!
Help with the cost of smoke alarms.
Is there help available with the cost of smoke alarms? Yes, there is. Check with your local Fire Department to see if there are free or low-cost smoke alarms available. If your Fire Department does not offer the program they may be able to guide you to an organization that does.
Monthly checks of smoke alarms- What am I looking for?
You are looking for the manufacture date. Smoke detectors have an expiration date of 10 years. You are testing the smoke alarm. You are looking for dust or cobwebs that may be blocking the sensors. Which can prevent it from working even if the batteries are new.
How often do batteries need to be changed in a smoke alarm? Source
Battery-powered: This type is most susceptible to bad and worn-out batteries. Monthly testing is critical. Remember never to put old batteries into your smoke detector.
Hard-wired: Hardwired detectors are powered by your home electrical system, but they usually have backup batteries so the device can remain operational in a power outage. Hardwired smoke detectors still require regular monthly testing to ensure that both batteries and parts are functioning properly.
Where should smoke alarms be placed?
Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations. Source
FIRE PREVENTION WEEK QUIZ
Learn all about smoke alarm safety with this trivia quiz. Be sure to share your results!
Your family and smoke alarms.
- Do your children know what a smoke alarm sounds like?
- Does everyone know what to do if the smoke alarm goes off?
- Do you have an escape plan?
- Do you practice monthly fire drills with your family?
National Fire Protection Association offers FREE safety tip sheets on a variety of fire and lifestyle topics.
- Escape planning
Fire and safety equipment
- Smoke alarms
- Smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing
- Home fire sprinklers
- Carbon monoxide alarms
- 9-volt batteries
- CFL light bulbs
- Clothes dryers
- Gel fuel safety
- Medical oxygen
- Microwave ovens
- Portable fireplaces
- Portable generators
- Wood & Pellet stoves
- Get Ahead of the Winter Freeze
- Winter holidays
- Christmas trees
- Safety in places of public assembly
- Campus fire safety
- High-rise apartments/condominiums
- Manufactured homes
- Wildland fire safety
- Outdoor electrical safety
- Sky lanterns
- NEW! Pet fire safety
- People with disabilities
Click here for the SAFETY TIP SHEETS
Please complete the Fire Prevention Week checklist with your family. Also, take a moment and ask your friends and family about their smoke alarms and share with them what you have learned.