The Delaware State Fire Marshal has some simple advice that could save your family’s life: Change your batteries. Your alarm batteries, that is. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately two thirds of home fire deaths each year result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. In many of those cases, “not working” simply means that the alarm battery was disconnected, low or dead.
“Smoke alarms cut in half a family’s risk of dying in a home fire – but only if they work,” Fire Marshal Richard Miller said. “It’s simple and life-saving to change the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors or install new ones.” When that irritating “chirping” sound begins to emit from the alarm, it is an indication that it is time to change the battery – not disconnect the battery and leave the alarm without power. And even when your smoke alarm isn’t chirping at you, its battery needs to be changed once a year.
Another factor in preventable fire deaths is the lack of adequate smoke alarm placement in the home. Larger homes and multi-story homes require a smoke alarm in several different living areas. “Many homes still have only one smoke alarm and that is simply not enough,” Miller said. “There should be working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and in the basement.” The NFPA instructs families to install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement, and outside each sleeping area.
Other smoke alarm recommendations from the NFPA include:
- Choose a smoke alarm that bears the label of a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Interconnect all smoke alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound.
- Use both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms, also known as dual sensor alarms. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires.
- Buy newer models of smoke alarms with lithium batteries that will last the life of the unit.
- Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by using the test button.
B Safe Security can assist you with any of the above tasks, to make smoke inhalation and preventable fire deaths even less of a risk. Contact our Delaware alarm company today to request information on reliable smoke alarms and fire protection systems.