Checking Your Smoke Detector…
The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, how many they should actually have in their homes or how often they need to be replaced. NFPA focuses on these key messages:
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, regardless of battery changing.
- Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
- To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.
Here’s how to check:
- Remove the smoke alarm from the wall/ceiling.
- Look at the back of the alarm for the date of manufacture
- Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture
- Put the alarm back on the ceiling/wall if it is less than 10 years old.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button
- If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside/ go to your outside meeting place. ( Preplan with children so they are aware of what to do.)
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat & fire
- Call the fire department from a cell phone or neighbor’s phone. Stay outside until the fire department says it’s safe to go back inside.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can't help.
- Make sure the number on your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find. Some people prefer to paint numbers on curbs- ask your local City Council for more information.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
Firefighters are also encouraging smokers to make sure they throw out butts and ashes correctly because it only takes something small to spark a fire if the conditions are dry.