A working smoke alarm can detect a small fire and provide crucial minutes necessary to prevent a tragedy from occurring in your home. Over 94% of all homes in the U.S. have at least one smoke alarm. However, surveys show that 1/3 - 1/2 of them do not work because the battery is either missing or dead.
Every 2 hours someone dies in a fire
Smoke, not heat, is the leading cause of death in home fires
Children and the elderly are at twice the risk of dying or being injured in a home fire
Most home fires occur during sleeping hours -- between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am.
Types of Smoke Alarms
Ionization Alarms: Monitor "ions," or electrically charged particles in the air and responds best to quick burning fires from paper and drapes.
Photoelectric Alarms: Respond to slow burning fires such as smoldering mattresses and upholstery. The alarm goes off when smoke particles break a light beam. These alarms are less likely to have false alarms.
Heat Alarms: Use a special metal that melts or distorts when heat enters the air around it.
Hard wired: Permanently wired into home's electrical system with battery backup.
Battery operated: Have batteries that last about 1 year.
Place a smoke alarm on each level of your home, near bedrooms or sleeping areas, and in the basement.
Avoid installing alarms near the kitchen, bathroom, outside doors, or fireplace.
Follow all of the smoke alarm's recommended installation procedures.
Wall mounted: Install so the top of the alarm is 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling. Avoid corners.
Open stairways: Install the smoke alarm in the path of the smoke that would be traveling up stairs.
Closed stairway: Position the smoke alarm at the bottom of the stairs because of the dead space at the top of the stairs could prevent the alarm from sounding.
Ceiling mounted: Install at least 4 inches from the nearest wall or corner to avoid dead space where air is trapped. In rooms with a vaulted ceiling, install the alarm at the highest point.
Replace batteries on twice a year. (Time change, 4th of July and Christmas, Birthdays)
Test smoke alarm once a month. (First day, Last day, First Monday)
Vacuum the alarm to remove any sensor blocking material. (2 to 3 times a year)
Never paint a smoke alarm
Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
You have nearly a 50% better chance of surviving a house fire with a working smoke alarm.