Safety and the Smoke Alarm
The Smoke Detector And Safety
The correct use of a smoke alarm can be life-saving, and there are plenty of resources available to help you correctly install and maintain the detector. Take a look at some of the information that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has made available to homeowners across the country.
• Your risk of dying in a residential fire can be reduced by 50 percent when a functioning smoke detector is nearby.
• Most residential fire deaths take place in homes without a working alarm.
• Smoke and fire detectors are affordably priced, and they are sometimes available for free from local fire departments.
It's not unusual for Charlotte, NC, homeowners to ignore their working fire alarms, even to the point that those alarms fall into disrepair. However, local fire departments and fire restoration professionals have some things they'd like you to know about the smoke alarm.
Replace the Alarm Every Ten Years
Many homeowners wonder how often they should swap out the batteries in their alarms (the answer is once or twice a year,) but they don't consider how long their alarm will last. Many devices actually use a flashing light to signal that it's time for a change, but those flashing lights get ignored, and many homeowners don't recognize the "replace the detector" signal from the "replace the batteries" flash. Even though it doesn't need to be replaced for several years, test your smoke alarm once a month.
Trust Your Alarm
You may have been frustrated to wake up at night because your smoke detector has been affected by dust and gone off when there's no flames in sight. Another common occurrence that frustrates homeowners is the alarm that goes off during meal prep. Don't let these situations convince you to be lazy when you hear the beep; head outside and use a cellphone or a neighbor's phone to call the fire department – even if you don't see flames. Your quick response may prevent injuries and fire damage.