When fire occurs in your home, your chances of survival are two times better when smoke detectors are present than when they are not.
Smoke detectors, when properly installed and maintained (following manufacturer's directions), provide early warning when fires occur.
Time is crucial. Most fatal fires occur between midnight and 8 AM. Many fire victims die in their sleep from breathing smoke and toxic fire gases. When your smoke detector sounds, you may have 2 1/2 minutes or less to escape.
- Electric smoke detectors should be connected to a lighting circuit with no intervening switches. For this, you may need an electrician. Connections using lead cords are not permitted.
- Battery-operated models should sound an alert or beeping sound when batteries need replacing. A smoke detector with dead batteries or whose batteries have been removed is no protection at all.
- Dual-power models are available which are electrically powered but contain a battery back-up should there be a power failure.
- Use only those detectors bearing the label of Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.) or Factory Mutual (FM).
- The ceiling is the best mounting location at least four inches away from any walls. If detectors are mounted on the wall, keep them away from corners and at least 4 inches, but no more than 12 inches, from the ceiling to the bottom of the detector.
Help Save Your Life and Property From Fire
- For minimum protection, install a smoke detector outside of each bedroom or sleeping area in your home. Keep your bedroom doors closed while you are asleep. Better yet, install detectors on every level of your home.
- Keep your smoke detectors properly maintained. Test them at least once each month to insure that the detectors are working properly. Batteries in battery-operated detectors should be changed at least once a year. Use only the type of batteries recommended on the detector.
- If your smoke detector sounds an alarm when no smoke is present, consult with the manufacturer or with your local fire department. If smoke from cooking materials causes the detector to sound an alarm, do not remove the batteries or disconnect the power source. Simply fan the smoke away from the detector until the alarm stops. If this happens frequently, it may be necessary to relocated the detector or to install a different type of detector.
- Develop an escape plan and review the plan with all members of the family frequently. Be aware that children and elderly people may need special assistance should a fire occur. Establish a meeting place outside the house for all members of the family to insure that everyone got out safely. When fire occurs, get out of the house and use a neighbor's telephone to notify the fire department.