Where there’s smoke, there should be smoke alarms
As time springs forward, stay ahead of fire safety
As spring approaches, you may be getting your spring cleaning to-do lists ready. As a way to help keep your family safe and secure, add ‘check your home smoke alarm’ to the list.
Fire is a serious concern with deadly consequences. Having an alert at the first sign of danger may save your life and the lives of your family. An estimated 3,400 people lost their lives as result of a fire in 2017, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2017 National Fire Experience Survey.
By following these smoke alarm tips, you’ll make sure you’re the first to know if you’re in danger:
- Take time to replace batteries — Daylight
saving time starts the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in
November every year. These are great times to regularly replace the batteries
in the smoke alarms in your home. By checking your batteries twice a year,
you’ll help ensure you remain safe and your fire alarms remain at the ready.
- Make sure alarms work properly — You know that
button on the smoke alarm that makes the super loud noise? Take time to press
it once a month to make sure everything works. If the alarm doesn’t chirp or
beep when tested, it may not be functioning properly. Which means it’s
time to buy a new alarm or replace the batteries.
- Replace every 10 years — After a decade, smoke alarms may not perform
how they should. Some models even have end-of-life signals that sound and tell
you when to replace them. When you move into a new home, it may help to inspect
the smoke alarms. If they seem
like they could be 10 years old or older, replace them. It’s better to be safe
- Consider an upgrade — Individual smoke
alarms work but interconnected smoke alarms provide better protection. This type of alarm triggers all the
alarms in your house when one is triggered. They can alert an entire
building of a fire, not just whoever is within earshot.
- Place smoke alarms where you’re most vulnerable
— If you’re asleep, it may be next
to impossible to detect a fire before it’s too late. A smoke alarm can make all
the difference. Be sure to place smoke alarms in rooms where anyone sleeps. In
addition, place a smoke alarm outside of every bedroom. This can provide extra
warning before smoke creeps into the room. And, as another layer of protection,
close your bedroom door when you go to bed to slow the progression of fire.
- Don’t disable alarms — When a smoke alarm is accidentally activated through smoke from cooking on a stove, toasting bread, or broiling burgers, many people will disable the smoke alarm by removing the battery. A disabled alarm provides no protection, placing you in danger. Be sure to put that battery back! Or, don’t take it out in the first place.
By following these tips, you’ll make sure your
smoke alarms provide the best protection they can, keeping you and your loved
ones safe from smoke and fire.
For more information on smoke alarms and how UL conducts smoke alarm testing, visit smokealarms.ul.com.
- Change your smoke alarm batteries once a year.
- Replace smoke alarms if they are more than 10 years old.
- Don’t disable smoke alarms when cooking.