Smoke Alarms Safety

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Smoke Alarms Safety

  • Test your smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarms every six months.  If an alarm “chirps," warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every ten years, including alarms that use ten-year batteries and hard-wired alarms.
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home so that when one sounds, they all sound.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms, or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) should be installed in homes.
  • Smoke rises. Install smoke alarms following manufacturer's instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling.
  • Save manufacturer's instructions for testing and maintenance.  
  • Alarms that are hard-wired and include battery backup must be installed by a qualified electrician
  • If cooking fumes or steam set off nuisance alarms, replace the alarm with an alarm that has a "hush" button. A "hush" button will reduce the alarm’s sensitivity for a short period of time.
  • An ionization alarm with a hush button or a photoelectric alarm should be used if the alarm is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance.
  • Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice.
  • Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices use strobe lights. Vibration devices can be added to these alarms