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Smoke Alarms

In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. They are a very important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal -- so you and your family can escape. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family, and your home.
  • Place properly installed and maintained smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home. Interconnected smoke alarms are best because if one sounds, they all sound. Get smoke alarms that can sound fast. Test smoke alarms monthly and change alkaline batteries at least once every year, or as instructed. You can use a date you already know, like your birthday or when you change your clocks as a reminder.
  • Consider buying a long-life (lithium) battery-powered smoke alarm, which may last up to ten years with no battery change.
  • Install smoke alarms away from air vents.
  • Install smoke alarms on the ceiling or wall, at least 4 inches from corners or according to manufacturer’s instructions.

If a smoke alarm sounds during normal cooking or when bathing, press the hush button if the smoke alarm has one. Open the door or window or fan the area with a towel to get the air moving. Do not disable the smoke alarm or take out the batteries. If this happens often, the smoke alarm will need to be relocated.

Residential Fire Sprinklers

  • If possible, install residential fire sprinklers in your home.
  • Avoid painting or covering the fire sprinkler, because that will affect thesensitivity to heat.
  • Do not hang decorations, plants, or other objects from the sprinkler or pipes.
  • For more information on Residential Fire Sprinklers, please obtain the Install. Inspect. Protect. Campaign’s “Residential Fire Sprinkler Fact Sheet.”

Escape Planning

Prepare and practice an escape route with all residents in the home, including children.
Know two ways to exit from every room in your home. Make sure safety bars on windows can be opened from inside your home.

  • Crawl low, under smoke.
  • Feel closed doors. If hot, use another exit. Identify a place to meet household members outside.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you escape.
  • Never go back inside a burning home.

Fire Safety Walk through

  • Keep clothes, blankets, curtains, towels and other items that can be easily set on fire at least three feet from space heaters, and away from stove burners.
  • Place space heaters where they will not tip over easily.
  • Have chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a professional.
  • Clear away trash, flammables and decorative materials.
  • Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces and leave glass doors open while burning a fire.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Be sure your stove and small appliances are off before going to bed.
  • Check for worn wires and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Never overload electrical sockets.
  • Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave cigarettes unattended and never smoke in bed.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. The cigarette needs to be completely stubbed out in the ashtray or run under water.

For more fire prevention tips, visit smokealarms