Monday, October 5, 2009

Fire Safety Week: Smoke Detectors

In reading articles and researching statistics in prep for Fire Safety Week it is absolutely amazing to me about how simple most of the prevention methods are, yet people still overlook them. So today we'll be discussing smoke alarms, a very simple, inexpensive device that can save you or someone you love's life.
You would think that if someone didn't know that smoke detectors save lives than they must be living under a rock but apparently I'm wrong because you would be surprised at this statistic, between 2003-2007 40% of house fire deaths occurred in homes without a smoke detector. That is CRAZY! People are losing their lives because they didn't have a $9.99 basic alarm installed. So if you don't have a smoke detector installed please head to your local Wal-Mart or Target and buy the one that suits your family's specific needs and budget.

For those of us that already have a smoke detector it's now our job to make sure they are working properly 100%.

  • Test them monthly. What are some ways to remember to test the alarm? Here are some ideas, test on the 1st of the month, when your mortgage is due, on the number of your kid's birthday, hell, you could even test on day 1 of your period (probably not a good idea if your preggo or post-menopausal.)

  • Change the batteries yearly, pick a holiday and make it part of your family's traditions to switch out those batteries. Halloween is fast approaching, why don't you play trick or treat with your smoke detector?

  • Here is a biggie, change the entire alarm every 10 years. Often times it is the elderly who have alarms that are pass the 10 year mark so check with your parents, neighbors, and friends to see if they need help updating their smoke detectors.

  • Lastly, if you have an internal wired alarm don't forget to test it and make sure it's in working order but it still needs to be switched out after 10 years.

For different types of smoke detectors and where is the best place to position them please visit the National Fire Protection Association.
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