Fire Safety Tips: Early Warning System

You need to have a plan for early warning and escape in case of a fire in your home. Many fire deaths 
 and fire injuries are actually caused by smoke and gases. Victims inhale smoke and poisonous gases 
 that rise ahead of the flames. Survival depends on being warned as early as possible and having an escape plan. 

Fire Safety Status Check

To be safe, you should be able to answer “yes” to the following statements.

  • At least one smoke detector is located on every floor of my home. 
  • Smoke detectors are placed near bedrooms, either on the ceiling or 6-12 inches below the ceiling on the wall.
  • Smoke detectors are tested according to manufacturer’s instructions on a regular basis (at least once a month) and are kept in working condition at all times. 
  • Batteries are replaced according to manufacturer’s instructions, at least annually. 
  • Batteries are never disconnected.
  • The detector has a distinct warning signal that can be heard whether the family is asleep or awake. 

Safety Tips

  • Purchase a smoke detector if you do not have one. Smoke detectors are inexpensive and arerequired by law in many localities. Check local codes and regulations before you buy your smoke detector because some codes require specific types of detectors. They provide an early warning which is critical because the longer the delay in realizing there is a fire, the deadlier the consequences.
  • Follow manufacturer’s directions for placement, installation, and testing the detector. At a minimum, 
    detectors should be located near bedrooms and one on every floor.
  • Make sure detectors are placed either on the ceiling or 6-12 inches below the ceiling on the wall.
  • Locate smoke detectors away from air vents or registers; high air flow or “dead” spots are to be avoided. If placed too close to cooking areas, the device may need to be re-located -- never disconnect the detector just for convenience.
  • Replace the batteries at least annually. You may need to replace your batteries before a year's end if  you hear a  chirping” sound from the detector. 
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions about cleaning your detector. Excessive dust, grease or other material in the detector may cause it to operate abnormally.
  • Vacuum the grill work of your detector.

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