Smoke alarms are an important part of every home’s fire-escape plans. Because fires spread so rapidly, it is important not only to place fire alarms throughout your house but also to have an evacuation plan. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five home-fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. More than one-third of home-fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present — and the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
Here are a few things you need to know about installing and maintaining fire alarms:
- Install smoke alarms in every room in the house, in hallways, outside bedrooms and on every level of the house.
- Smoke alarms that are hardwired with battery backups are considered to be more reliable than those operated by batteries only.
- It is best to buy alarms from reputable companies that you trust.
- Test your smoke alarms every month.
- Replace batteries at least once a year. If a smoke alarm beeps or makes a chirping sound, you should replace the batteries immediately.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
Temporary Housing Directory (THD) encourages you to install and properly maintain fire alarms throughout your house. If a fire alarm activates, you never should ignore the alarm or assume it’s a false alarm. Investigate with caution and, if a real emergency is present, follow your evacuation plan (if possible).