Smoke alarms save lives. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to warn you so that you have time to get out. Almost two-thirds or 65% of reported home fire deaths from 2003 – 2006 resulted from either no smoke detector or no working smoke detector in the home.
Some important tips to remember regarding smoke detectors:
· Make sure your smoke alarms are working. When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead. Testing smoke alarms monthly is a good idea. Replace batteries once a year or, when the low-battery alarm chirps.
· Key locations for smoke detector placement in the home are: outside every bedroom/sleeping area; inside each bedroom and on each level of your home.
· Smoke alarms that are interconnected are much more efficient because a fire detected by any smoke alarm will sound an alarm at every location where a smoke alarm is installed. Interconnected smoke alarms provide early warning of fires that are still far away or are located on the other side of a door or wall that may block sound.
- Develop and practice an escape plan so that everyone in the home knows what to do and where to go when the smoke alarm sounds. The best case scenario would be two ways out of every room. A household that practices an escape plan is much more prepared and likely to successfully exit the home in the event of a real fire.
- There are two types of smoke detectors – ionization and photoelectric. Ionization detectors are generally more responsive to flaming fires, whereas photoelectric detectors are more sensitive to fires that begin slowly, with a long “smoldering period” for example a fire caused by an unattended cigarette.
- For best protection use both types of smoke detector technologies. There are combination alarms that include both technologies in a single device.
- When a smoke detector activates, please do not assume it is a false alarm. If there is a question about what activated the smoke detector, please call your local fire department or district. For the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, please call 775-831-0351, ext. 0 to speak with someone in person or visit www.nltfpd.net.