Is your smoke alarm working and up to date? Did you know that smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years? Don’t Wait: Check the Date!
This year, Fire Prevention Week is getting the word out about the importance of changing your smoke alarms. According to NFPA.org (the National Fire Protection Association), 3 out of 5 fire fatalities in 2009-2013 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. NFPA recommends replacing smoke alarms after 10 years because that is typically the life expectancy of the devices; beyond that, the sensors in smoke alarms can begin to lose their sensitivity.
It’s easy to check the date on your smoke alarm. Here’s how:
- Look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm.
- The alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date!
If your home needs a new smoke alarm, GNH Lumber offers several options from which to choose, including a First Alert Ionized Battery Smoke Alarm, Photoelectric Smoke Alarm, and Photoelectric Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm. In support of National Fire Prevention Week initiative’s, we also recommend 2.5 lb home fire extinguishers and 5 lb heavy duty fire extinguishers – available at GNH.
Another consideration for the effectiveness of your smoke alarm is battery life. Some smoke alarms need a new battery every year. Others have a battery that lasts much longer. How can you find out which kind you have? It’s simple: look at the smoke alarm packaging, manufacturer’s instructions, or the back of the alarm to find out.
You should also have an escape plan that you’ve practiced with your family. Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!
Tips for Creating and Practicing Your Escape Plan:
- Everyone in your household should know two ways to escape from each room in your home.
- Decide where to meet once you get outside.
- If a fire starts, you may have just two minutes to get to safety. So, time your fire drills and find out: what’s your escape time?
- Smoke is dangerous: practice low crawling.
- If your clothes catch on fire: stop, drop and roll.
Top Tips for Fire Safety from The American Red Cross:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Check smoke alarms yearly to be sure they are less than 10 years old.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.