In Light of Recent NorCal Fires, Perform Home Smoke Alarms Update

Watching the horrific fires in Northern California, it was clear that many people had no warning about the firestorms that engulfed their homes, and smoke alarms would have been useless.

But, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, more typically three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms and more than 1/3 of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.

The administration recommends that smoke alarms should be put in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home, including the basement.

How often do you replace the smoke alarm? Every 10 years. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a smoke alarm’s age can be determined by looking on the back or side of the smoke alarm, where the date of manufacture can be found.

Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase or installation). In addition, smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and batteries should be replaced when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low.

  • Smoke alarm powered by a nine-volt battery
  • Test the alarm monthly.
    • Replace the batteries at least once every year.
    • Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.
  • Smoke alarm powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long-life”) battery
  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Smoke alarm that is hardwired into your home’s electrical system
  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Replace the backup battery at least once every year.

Visit usfa.fema.gove/prevention/outreach/smoke_alarms for more information.  

 

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