Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Jun 12, 2013 - 11:22:44 AM
(HealthNewsDigest.com)-Roughly two-thirds of house fire deaths could be avoided, it's estimated, if all homes had working smoke alarms. Properly installed and maintained, residential smoke alarms are one of the best and least expensive ways to provide an early warning when a fire begins.
If you follow these simple tips, you can ensure that your home is adequately protected by working smoke alarms.
Smoke Alarm Tips
- Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- Combination smoke alarms that include both ionization and photoelectric alarms offer the most comprehensive protection. An ionization alarm is more responsive to flames, while a photoelectric alarm is more responsive to a smoldering fire.
- For the best protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected, so they all sound if any one of them sounds.
- Purchase smoke alarms from a reputable retailer you trust.
- Choose alarms that bear the label of a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
- Install smoke alarms at least 10 feet from cooking appliances to reduce the possibility of nuisance alarms.
- If possible, alarms should be mounted in the center of a ceiling. If mounted on a wall, they should be six to 12 inches below the ceiling.
- Avoid locating alarms near bathrooms, heating appliances, windows or ceiling fans.
- Never paint over a smoke alarm.
- Smoke alarms should be tested once a month by pressing the TEST button.
- Replace the smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" or "beeps" to indicate low batteries, they should be replaced immediately.
- Replace the smoke alarms every 10 years.
For further facts and tips on smoke alarms, visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety, at www.esfi.org.
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