Safety Tips

  1. Smoke Alarms
  2. Plan Your Escape
  3. Carbon Monoxide Safety

Smoke Alarms

Only working smoke alarms save lives! Check your smoke alarms once a month by pressing and holding the test button for 3 to 5 seconds. If the alarm does not sound replace the battery and test it again to ensure that it’s working. And remember, if you’re smoke alarm is older than 10 years, it’s time to replace it! Make sure you replace it with a smoke alarm that has a built in 10 year battery. View Lithium Ion Battery Safety

Smoke Alarm Quick Tips

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home. For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. View the Suggested Locations (PDF) for installing smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms every month.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization Smoke Alarms (PDF) are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric Alarms (PDF) are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove. Smoke alarms near the kitchen should have a “hush” button that allows you to silence the alarm for several minutes while the smoke clears.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.

Smoke Alarm Stats

  • In 2007-2011, smoke alarms sounded in half of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • No smoke alarms were present in more than one-third (37%) of the home fire deaths.

Source: NFPA's "Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires" report, (March 2014)