We all have smoke alarms in our homes, but we rarely think about them or how important they are. These small pieces of machinery are incredibly important when it comes to keeping yourself and your family safe. When a fire starts, the smoke will spread around very quickly. When you rely on a working smoke alarm, you have the warning to get out of the house as quickly as possible. Here are some tips to make sure that you are using your smoke alarms efficiently to help get you and your family out of the house as early as possible.
Things to Remember About Smoke Alarms
- Closed doors slow down how quickly smoke can spread. To keep your family notified, make sure each sleeping room and the area outside of each sleeping area has a working smoke alarm. Each level of your home should have at least one, including the basement. You should also have your home’s smoke alarms interconnected so when one starts to go off, they all notify you.
- Larger homes need extra smoke alarms in most cases. You still need one alarm per bedroom and outside each sleeping area. Plus, every level of the home, including the basement, should have a working smoke alarm.
- You must perform a functionality test once per month of all smoke alarms in your home. All you have to do is push the button to test and wait for the sound.
- Two types of smoke alarms exist. When you want an alarm quickly following flames, you want an ionization smoke alarm. When you want an alarm for a smoldering fire, you want a photoelectric alarm. It is best to mix both types within your home.
- Avoid placing a smoke alarm directly in your kitchen, especially within 10 feet, or 3 meters, of your stove. Place them on the ceiling or as high on the wall as possible.
- Special alarms exist for people who struggle with hearing. These alarms shake the bed and strobe bright lights.
- All smoke alarms need replacement every ten years, even if they still function.
When setting up your home’s fire escape plan, make sure smoke alarms are a part of it. They save lives every single day!