Smoke Detectors Save Lives

They're inexpensive, quick to install, easily maintained and can save your and your family's lives. They're smoke detectors, and every home needs them, on every level.

Smoke alarms are the first line of defense against fire-related injury. In the event of fire, properly installed and maintained smoke detectors can help save lives by giving early warning and allowing sufficient time for occupants to reach safety. According to the National Fire Protection Association, two out of three fire deaths occur in homes with missing or non-functioning smoke alarms.

Put smoke detectors in the right places in your home, and test them regularly to ensure they work properly. The right places include:

On every level of the home, including the basement.
Outside of every bedroom or sleeping area.
In the living room, den or family room.
Near stairways leading to upper levels.
Install smoke alarms 10 feet from cooking appliances, to minimize false alarms.
Avoid installing alarms near windows, doors or ducts that could interfere with their operation.

Maintaining smoke alarms is easy.

Test smoke alarms monthly.
Change smoke alarm batteries regularly. Some people use the spring and fall time changes as a prompt to change the batteries in their smoke detectors twice a year.
Keep smoke alarms clean by vacuuming over and around them, as dust and debris can interfere with their operation. Never paint smoke alarms.

Finally, teach everyone in the household, children included, what the smoke alarm sounds like. Develop a home fire escape plan, and engage in practice fire drills to reinforce the plan.