Smoke Alarms

Catron Courier - - Front Page -

So, did ev­ery­body change their bat­tery when they changed their clock?

Ev­ery year, the United States Fire Ad­min­is­tra­tion (USFA) launches a cam­paign to get peo­ple to in­stall and in­spect their smoke alarms. More than 3000 Amer­i­cans die in home fires each year, most of which are in homes with­out work­ing smoke alarms. Re­search has proven that the risk of dy­ing in a fire is re­duced by 82% in homes equipped with work­ing smoke alarms and au­to­matic sprin­klers. A work­ing smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your fam­ily to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There are two ba­sic types of smoke alarms: Ion­iza­tion and Pho­to­elec­tric. Ion­iza­tion alarms re­spond more quickly when a flam­ing, fast mov­ing fire oc­curs, such as a por­ta­ble heater catch­ing the cur­tains on fire. A Pho­to­elec­tric alarm re­sponds more quickly to a slower, smoky fire, such as an elec­tri­cal fire that starts within your walls. A dual sen­sor smoke alarm com­bines the two types, pho­to­elec­tric and ion­iza­tion.

Be­cause there is no way of telling what type of fire may oc­cur in your home, it is strongly rec­om­mended by the USFA to have both an ion­iza­tion smoke alarm and pho­to­elec­tric alarm or a dual sen­sor smoke alarm to de­tect both types of fires. There are also smoke alarms for the hear­ing im­paired. These alarms ei­ther vi­brate or have a strobe light to warn peo­ple of a pos­si­ble fire.

You should in­stall a smoke alarm on ev­ery level of your home, in­clud­ing the base­ment, if you have one. There should be one in ev­ery bed­room. I know sev­eral peo­ple who have re­moved the bat­ter­ies from their smoke alarms be­cause they went off while they were cook­ing or tak­ing a very steamy shower. A bet­ter op­tion is to open the door and press the “hush” but­ton on the alarm. Wav­ing a towel at the alarm to clear the air can help. If it con­tin­ues to be a prob­lem, con­sider mov­ing the alarm fur­ther from the stove or bath­room.

Ide­ally, you should test your smoke alarm ev­ery month. Make it part of your fire safety rit­ual—check the alarm and prac­tice your fire es­cape drill at the same time. If your smoke alarm has a 9 volt bat­tery, re­place it at least once a year—like the old pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ments used to say, “when you change your clock for day­light sav­ings time, change the bat­tery in your smoke alarm.” If your smoke alarm has a lithium bat­tery, the en­tire smoke alarm should be re­placed ac­cord­ing to man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions. In newer homes, smoke alarms are re­quired to be hard­wired into your elec­tri­cal sys­tem. Even these smoke alarms have bat­ter­ies that need to be changed on a yearly ba­sis.

You should re­place your en­tire smoke alarm ev­ery 810 years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.