By Platinum Team December 6, 2012

Smoke Alarm Safety

Most people who own a home take time to make it beautiful and safe for their families to live in. We routinely vacuum, replace light bulbs, sanitize, maintain appliances, change air filters and more, but we often forget about our smoke detectors. We hope that we will never have to be awoken to the loud alarm of our smoke detectors and we rely on them to protect our families, but we often forget they are there, let alone do routine maintenance checks. According to the National Fire Protection Association, we should be testing our alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Home many of us remember to check our fire alarms yearly, let alone monthly? But the fact is, when a fire occurs in our home it can spread quickly and without our knowledge if our smoke detectors are not properly functioning. Smoke detectors can give us the early warning that will not only help protect our home from total loss, but more importantly, save our lives. If you do not currently have a smoke detector in your home, all hardware stores sell them and they can make recommendations as to how many you need. They are an inexpensive way to protect your home and family, and are also easy to install. Many experts recommend installing smoke detectors in every sleeping area and on every floor of the home. Once you have installed smoke alarms, routine maintenance is critical but it is also relatively easy. According to Realtor.com, “About 90 percent of U.S. households have smoke alarms installed. However, a CPSC survey found that the smoke alarms in 20 percent of those households-about 16 million-were not working, mostly because the battery was dead or missing.” CPSC Chairman Ann Brown also notes that, “Smoke alarms can save lives, but they won’t work if they are not maintained. They should be tested monthly, and the batteries should be replaced at least once a year or when they make the ‘chirping’ sound.” It is astonishing that approximately 16 million smoke detectors were not working! Especially during this time of year when we need to practice fire safety with our holiday decorations and lighting as well as our home heating, those smoke detectors could mean the difference between life and death! Additionally, the age of your smoke detectors could be problematic. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years or sooner if they do not respond to testing and battery replacement. An interesting fact that some may not know is that there are also smoke alarms available for those hard of hearing or deaf; the alarms use strobe lights and vibration. Along with smoke alarm maintenance it is also very important that every family has a fire escape plan that they have practiced and know well. By taking these steps to maintain your smoke detector you will have the peace of mind that you have protected your family as best as possible from the dangers of fire.]]>