Keeping Smoke Detectors Alert

Its a fact. Smoke alarms really do save lives. Since home smoke detectors were introduced, fire related deaths have declined by 50%. Only 10% of households in the U.S. do not have smoke detectors. Yet, 42% of all fire deaths in residential structures occurred with no smoke detector present.

In residences where a fire death occurred with a smoke detector present, the smoke detector was not operating in 63% of the episodes. Regardless of the cause, the house was no more protected than if the smoke detector was completely absent.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends placing smoke detectors on every level of the home (including the basement) with alarms installed both inside and outside sleeping areas.

Smoke detectors offer an important first warning against the dangers of fire, particularly at night. Theyre inexpensive, often costing less than $10. Installation is typically on ceilings, or walls 6 to 8 from the ceiling.

Installation instructions should be listed in the owners manual. Most can be installed easily, or ask a handyman for assistance. Keep the detectors free from dirt and dust, and replace batteries at least annually. Test smoke detectors regularly.

Protect your life, your familys lives, and your property. Make sure your smoke detectors are properly placed and always alert.