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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Smoke Alarms and Your Home

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

smoke alarm With proper care and maintenance, a fully functioning smoke alarm can be the difference between life or death when escaping a fire in your home.

When it comes to protecting your family and loved ones in a fire, it is absolutely essential to prepare ahead of time. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarm. Fortunately, the risk of dying is cut in half when a home has a working smoke alarm. These alarms are usually the first line of defense when it comes to alerting your family about the fire with enough time to escape safely.

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to smoke alarms and your home.

How many smoke alarms should I have?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement. In addition to this, smoke alarms should also be installed inside of every bedroom and outside of each sleeping area.

Other recommended areas for smoke detectors include: all hallways, each living area (kitchen, family room, dining room, den, home office, etc.), stairwells, and storage rooms.

Where should I place the smoke alarms in my house?

Smoke detectors need to be properly installed to be effective. Because smoke rises, the alarms need to be placed high on the wall or close to the ceiling. The basic guidelines for smoke detector placement include:

  • Place wall-mounted alarms less than 12 inches from the ceiling.
  • Mount basement smoke alarms on the ceiling at the foot of the stairs leading up to the main level.
  • Keep your smoke alarm at least 10 feet from your cooking appliances in the kitchen to minimize false alarms from smoke while cooking.
  • Avoid placing smoke alarms next to windows, doors, vents, fans or anywhere where a breeze could affect the alarm.

How often do I need to replace my smoke alarms?

The best rule of thumb is to test your smoke alarm once a month. The batteries to your smoke alarm should be replaced every six months. An easy way to remember this is to change the batteries in your smoke detector the same day you switch your clock for daylight savings, once in the spring and once in the fall. Finally, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke alarms should be completely replaced every 10 years.

With proper care and maintenance, a fully functioning smoke alarm can be the difference between life or death when escaping a fire in your home.

As always, SERVPRO of North Palm Beach County is here for you in the event of a fire. Our fire damage restoration team has years of experience in restoring properties to their pre-fire condition. Call our office today to learn more.

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