IS YOUR SMOKE ALARM DEAD? 13 Fire Safety Tips That Could Save Your Family

Firefighters responded to a house fire at 1817 Broadview Place in Fort Collins, just west of the Colorado State University (CSU) campus on a summer Sunday, one day before the 2017 total eclipse that had us all glancing towards the sky.

“A worse tragedy was averted because they had working smoke alarms,”
— Chris Wolf, Poudre Fire Authority spokesman
 Fire damage to home.  Source: Courtesy Poudre Fire Authority

Fire damage to home. Source: Courtesy Poudre Fire Authority

Five injured people in the home were taken to the hospital with no critical injuries. A worse fate was confirmed for the dog who did not survive.

While the situation was grim it could have been worse. They'd finally replaced their smoke detector batteries just days before. Imagine if they hadn't. Read the full article on The Coloradoan.

IS YOUR SMOKE DETECTOR DEAD?

We’ve all been told how having a smoke alarm is necessary for years now...

...but what would happen right now if you extinguished a match underneath it? Was the beeping it made too much one night and the battery removed? How many smoke alarms do you have throughout your house? What kind of smoke alarm do you have? What kind of batteries do your smoke alarms use? When was the last time you tested your alarms?

Yes, the beep is annoying, but don't ignore it. Answer its call.

It's likely that you know how to change the batteries in a smoke detector, but here is a quick reminder video reminder, anyway, just to emphasize how is it is to keep even the old ones working.

Here are quick and easy steps to change a smoke detector correctly. Marty from Liberty Homes, UT will walk you through the steps to stop the chirping noise while keeping your home safe.

Something to think about, right?  Smoke alarms aren’t the simple set and forget items. They require regular if simple, maintenance. Don’t worry, it hasn’t gotten too complicated or labor intensive. Here are a few things to know about smoke alarms that you might not know according to The National Fire Prevention Association. Don’t let a failure in your family’s safety plan lead to a tragedy.

13 Domestic Fire Safety Tips and Tidbits:

  1. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
  2. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  3. Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  4. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  5. There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
  6. When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  7. Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
  8. In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
  9. Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
  10. No smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38%) home fire deaths.  
  11. The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).
  12. In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
  13. Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.