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Smoke Alarms


The majority of fatal home fires happen at night, and the smell of smoke won’t always wake you up. In fact, smoke and poisonous gases can put you into a deeper sleep. Home smoke alarms can wake you up in time to escape. They are inexpensive, easy to install and save lives.

Follow these important smoke alarm tips:

  • Choose an Alarm – buy an approved smoke alarm that carries the label of an independent testing lab
  • Buy Multiple Alarms – install one smoke alarm in every room used for sleeping, outside of each sleeping area, and on every story of the home including basements, but not crawl spaces or unoccupied attics.
  • Install Alarms – smoke rises so alarms are meant to be mounted high on a wall or on the ceiling. Install smoke alarms at least 4″ from the wall or corner. Always position smoke alarms at the bottom of closed stairways. Don’t install a smoke alarm too near a window, door, ceiling fan, or forced-air register where drafts could interfere with proper operation.
  • Test Alarms – make sure everyone sleeping in your home can hear your smoke alarms. Test alarms monthly.
  • Replace Batteries – at least twice a year. NEVER take the batteries out of your smoke alarms.
  • Replace Alarms Every 10 Years – smoke alarms wear out. Know the age of your alarms (look at back of alarm for manufacture date) and replace alarms that are more than 10 years old. This applies to both battery powered and hardwired units.

Three of five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Be sure to install, test and replace smoke alarms in your home!