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Smoke Alarms/Detectors

Smoke Alarms can save your life in a fire, but only if you have enough of them and you know they work.
Smoke Alarms should be mounted high on walls or ceilings. Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed
at least four inches aways from the nearest wall. Wall mounted alarms should be installed four to 12 inches
away from the ceiling.
Make sure the alarm is away from the path of steam from bathrooms and ceiling vapors from the kitchen.
These can cause a "false alarm" when the alarm goes off but there is not a fire.
Don't install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts. They will not work right in these places.
Make sure there is a smoke alarm on every floor of your home, especially where people sleep. This includes
the basement if possible. Put an alarm inside every bedroom too.
Test your smoke alarms once a month. Push the test button un
til you hear a loud noise.
Put a new battery in your smoke alarm once a year. Put in a new battery if your alarm makes a "chirping"
sound. This means the power is low.
If your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, get new smoke alarms.
Make sure your smoke alarms have been tested for safety by a laboratory.
Look for a mark on the box such as ETL, UL, or CSA.
The leading cause (51%) of smoke alarm failure is missing or disconnected batteries.
Dead batteries account for (15%) of failures.
Smoke alarms older than 10 years should be replaced.


Escape plans for your home.

Each family member must know what to do in the event of a fire in the home. Unless a small fire can be easily controlled, it is recommended that fighting the fire be left to professional firefighters and that family members escape safely from the home.

A home escape plan must be created and practiced so that each person knows exactly what to do. It also is important to practice Exit Drills In The Home (EDITH).

Most residential fires occur between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Deaths from residential fires occur in greater numbers between midnight and 4 a.m. when most people are asleep. An average of 800 fires strike residential buildings each day in the United States. More than 6,500 persons die each year from fire - more than half of them children and senior citizens. The majority of these deaths are in home fires.

Regardless of the cause of the fire, a home may be filled with smoke. This is a very dangerous situation. Family members may be unable to see very well. The smoke and toxic gases may cause dizziness and disorientation. In the confusion, one can easily become lost or trapped in the home. Family members must understand that their safety depends upon quickly leaving the home. It has been proven that exit drills reduce chances of panic and injury in fires and that trained and informed people have a much better chance to survive fires in their home.

Follow these rules when planning your escape:

  • Plan and practice your plan
  • If your homes catches fire, stay low, get out and stay out
  • If your clothes cath fire, stop, drop and roll until the flames are out
  • Draw a plan of your home. Show two ways out of every room, including a window. To escape from upper stories, purchase a UL approved collapsible ladder
  • Practice escaping from every room in your house and make sure everyone understands the escape plan
  • Make sure windows and screens can be easily opened
  • Provide alternatives for disabled family members
  • Teach your children not to hide from firefighters
  • Agree on a meeting place where everyone will gather after you have escaped
  • Remember to get out first, then call for help
  • Practice your plan at least twice a year, making sure everyone is involved
  • Learn and practice your building's evacuation plan
  • If you hear a fire alarm, leave immediately
  • Use stairs, never use an elevator during a fire