SafeKids USA’s Top Tips for Smoke Alarms

Source: Safe Kids USA

October is Fire Prevention Month. In addition to supporting the the National Fire Protection Association’s National Fire Prevention Week theme “Protect Your Family from Fire,” Safe Kids is working to raise awareness on fire safety all month long.

On average, 436 children die in home fires every year. Working smoke alarms are an essential piece of safety equipment which should be in every home. If your family lives in a home with working smoke alarms the likelihood of dying in a fire is half that compared to a home without working alarms. Use the tips below to learn how to keep your family safe from fire.

  • Top tips for smoke alarms
  • Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom.
  • Smoke alarms can be battery-operated or electrically hardwired in your home and are available at a variety of price points.
  • If you have hearing problems, use alarms with flashing strobe lights and vibration.
  • Test smoke alarms every month. Replace batteries once a year, even if alarms are hardwired.
  • Test your smoke alarms at night to see if your child will wake up and respond to the alarm. Children sleep more deeply and may not wake up. If your child does not wake up to the alarm, try an alarm where you can program your voice to alert him or her.
  • Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings since smoke rises. Ceiling-mounted alarms should be installed at least 4 inches away from the nearest wall. Wall-mounted alarms should be installed 4 to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Consider installing both ionization alarms, which are better at sensing flaming fires, and photoelectric alarms, which are better at sensing slow, smoky fires, or dual sensor alarms.

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