Will Your Smoke Alarm Wake You?
Will Your Smoke Alarm Wake You?
Will your smoke alarm wake you and your family?* Since most fire deaths occur during the night, a smoke alarm is a valuable lifesaving device.
According to the fire department of New York City, an operable smoke alarm will reduce your chances of dying in a fire, by nearly 50%.
To protect yourself, your family and your community here are some suggestions.
1 - Install smoke alarms that have the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Mark. This tells you that the alarm has been evaluated according to nationally recognized safety requirements.
2 - Know the two kinds of smoke alarms and their purposes: photoelectric and ionization. The photoelectric alarms are most reliable for smoldering fires which may occur in a bedroom or livingroom. The ionization alarms are best used in a kitchen or garage as they are most reliable in detecting flaming fires. Combination alarms are also available.
3 - In a large home one smoke alarm is not enough. Install an alarm on every level, including the basement. An alarm should be placed within 15 feet of all sleeping areas. You may want to install an alarm in certain bedrooms for added safety (see number 4).
4 - Make sure everyone in your home is familiar with and can be awakened by the sound of the alarm. Some of the elderly, some children, and heavy sleepers may not readily awake. Consider installing individual alarms in each sleeping area, or interconnected smoke alarms: when one alarm senses smoke and sounds, they are triggered throughout the home.
5 - If someone is hearing-impaired, use smoke alarms that use visible notifications, such as flashing strobe lights.
6 - Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling, preferably in the center of the room. It should not be less than 4 inches from the wall. If your smoke alarm is installed on a wall, it must be placed between 4 and 12 inches from the ceiling.
7 - Please read the instructions with your individual alarms.
When smoke alarms fails to work
it is often because batteries have been removed to prevent nuisance activation caused by cooking vapors or bathroom steam. Rather than taking the battery out of the smoke alarm, do the following:
1 - Consider relocating the alarm.
2 - Push the "HUSH" button.
3 - Open windows, and turn on vent fans.
4 - Consider using a photoelectric or combination photoelectric/ionization type of smoke alarm. These two alarms are less sensitive to cooking smoke.
A final note: It is up to you to make sure your smoke alarm is functioning:
a - Use the test button to make sure the battery is still working.
b - Also a good suggestion that is often televised is to change the battery whenever we change the clocks - in the spring, when we spring ahead, and in the fall, when we fall behind.
*(Mine would not wake me because I just found out the battery is dead and I can't remember the last time I checked it).
For more information on ways to make sure you and your family are safe, see the links below:
Warning about CO Poisoning
- What Are The Symptoms of CO (Carbon Monoxide) Poison...
There is a reason why CO (Carbon Monoxide) poisoning is known as the silent killer. Therefore, it is extremely important to know the symptoms, which are often misdiagnosed. Equally important, is knowing what a CO alarm sounds like.
Please, check your smoke alarm now!
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