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Smoke Detectors

Friday, September 04, 2015

Your smoke detector is arguably the most essential safety fixture in your home. However, a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report found that at least 5 million homes in the U.S. still don’t have smoke alarms. According to the NFPA, having a working smoke alarm cuts one’s chances of dying in a reported fire in half. But since most of us are so accustomed to this appliance, it becomes easy to take it for granted and remember how important it is to our security.

Obviously, your smoke alarm’s primary function is to notify you of any suspicious smoke inside your house. This includes anything from burnt cooking, improperly extinguished cigarettes/cigars (actually among one of the most common causes of fire), and electrical fires. Your alarm will sound at the first sign of trouble, hopefully notifying you of the fire before flames can spread to other parts of the house. Likewise, many electrical fires first take shape as a spark followed by smoldering wires. Your alarm will be able to give you some warning before the fire gets out of control, protecting you and your family.

To optimize your safety in the event of a fire, we recommend taking the following steps:

  • Install the proper number of smoke alarms for your home. In general, it is recommended to have an alarm on each floor of the house, in every bedroom, and outside every sleeping space.
  • Teach children about fire safety. Properly functioning smoke alarms are useless if no one knows how to react in the event of a fire. If you have kids in the home, teach them how to safely exit the house if a fire ignites. Remind them not to stop to grab any toys or belongings to bring with them, as this is many children’s first instinct.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly. This can be effortlessly done by holding down the test button on the front of the alarm. You can also purchase spray cans of smoke detector test aerosol at the hardware store (just be sure to clean the test material out of the alarm afterwards so it doesn’t block the detectors in the future).
  • If you need to repair, replace, or install additional smoke alarms in your home, a qualified electrician is an excellent resource. They’ll make sure your alarm is installed and operating correctly so you can have peace of mind that your home is protected.

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