Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are properly installed and regularly maintained play a vital role in reducing deaths and injuries. Are your home or workplace alarms ready at this moment to save you?
FACT: Smoke alarms save lives. This is proven every single day around the country as home occupants escape smoke and fire when alerted in time.
Deadly smoke spreads fast and you need a functioning smoke alarm to allow time to get out. Having a working smoke alarm cuts your chances of dying in a structure fire in half! The majority of fire deaths result from fires in homes without smoke alarms or having no functioning smoke alarms. This is the reason that fire codes dictate alarms be installed in all homes and apartment buildings nationwide.
A smoke alarm should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
- Test your smoke alarms every month. Replace batteries annually. Why wait til that piercing low level beep alert wakes you from a sound sleep in the middle of the night?
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years. Alarms become much less reliable as they age – even the hard wired kinds. Maximum reliability = maximum safety.
- According to a telephone survey, 96-97% of all homes have at least one smoke alarm, yet in 2007-2011, smoke alarms were present in only three-quarters (73%) of all reported home fires and operated in just half (52%) of all reported home fires.
- More than one-third (37%) of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms.
- Smoke alarms operated in fires that caused two out of five (40%) home fire deaths. You want to put yourself on the safe side of tragic statistics like these!
Teach your kids the sound a smoke alarm makes and what to do QUICKLY whenever they hear that sound. Get outside and stay outside. What route to take to exit each area of the home – particularly their bedroom. Talk through and rehearse urgent exit procedures and fire safety.
The risk of your family dying in reported home structure fires is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
Homes and businesses with natural gas, propane or wood burning stoves or appliances – or attached garages – should also have working carbon monoxide detector alarms. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. Carbon monoxide will harm or kill you if you are exposed to high levels of this odorless gas in a short period of time, or to lower levels over a long period of time,
Don’t assume that you need or don’t need a carbon monoxide detector. Also, don’t assume that you are safe from carbon monoxide poisoning just because you have a detector installed. Carbon monoxide detectors are intended to protect healthy adults, so take the ages and health of family members into account when assessing the effectiveness of a detector.
Also, be aware that the average life span of many carbon monoxide detectors is only about 2 years. The ‘test’ feature on many detectors checks only the functioning of the alarm and not the status of the detector. There are detectors that last longer, indicate when they need to be replaced, and have power supply backups — you’ll want to check to see whether a particular model has these important features. Cheap detectors and alarms generally offer fewer important features. You want alarm devices that will dependably operate to protect valuable lives throughout that structure.
As you evaluate your safety alarm equipment you should also be sure both your home and work place have adequate and fully charged fire extinguishers.
If you have questions about fire safety contact your local fire department, go on-line, or call us and we can direct you to appropriate resources. Should you ever need help to clean up smoke, fire or water damage in your home, Call 406 892-1717.