Whether you're wide awake or fast asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly scanning the air. It never sleeps. A smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It's plain and simple...Smoke alarms save lives. But, they have to be installed the right way, and ...be working!
Types of Smoke Alarms
The two types of smoke alarms are:
You need both – because they detect differently – smoke, or flames, and you never know what type of fire might start.
USFA recommends every home have
a)Both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR
b)dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors
Where to install smoke alarms
Smoke alarms should be installed and maintained both inside and outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer's installation instructions carefully. If you're installing hardwired smoke alarms, have a qualified electrician do the installation.
Making sure your smoke alarms are working
A smoke alarm can be powered three different ways:
1. Disposable 9-volt batteries
2. A non-replaceable long-life lithium battery
3. The alarm is hardwired into the home's electrical system.
The 9-volt batteries that power smoke alarms should be replaced at least once each year. You can time the replacements with seasonal or time changes.
Long-life lithium will power the smoke alarm for about 8 to 10-years. Once the battery is dead, the entire smoke alarm unit, battery included, needs to be replaced.
Be sure to test your smoke alarm every month and replace the entire unit every 8-10 years. It takes just a few minutes of maintenance, for years of protection.
What to do when smoke alarm has false alarm
When a smoke alarm sounds while you're cooking or taking a shower with a lot of steam, it's just doing its job. Simply press the hush button on the alarm and open a window or door. If your alarm doesn't have a hush button, wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air. Never remove the smoke alarm's battery, false alarm or otherwise.
About home fire sprinklers
Home fire sprinkler systems are low-maintenance and can reduce the intensity of a fire. Many times, they will extinguish the fire. For the best protection possible, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends having a combination of working smoke alarms and sprinklers in the home.
If there's a fire in your home, time is critical and every second counts. It can take 30 seconds for a small flame to become a huge fire. In case of a fire, everyone in your home needs to know how they will get out.
Prepare an escape plan and practice it with everyone in the home. It's really important to include children. Teach them not to hide in closets or from firefighters. Everyone should gather at an established meeting place outside of the home. Get out and stay out. Never go back into a burning home.
Remember.... Install. Inspect. Protect. Smoke Alarms Save Lives. (Graphic same as words)
Do your part to get out, before firefighters have to come in.