Working and properly installed smoke alarms save lives. A recent study conducted in the United States found that almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
When smoke alarms should have operated but did not do so, it was usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead. People are most likely to remove or disconnect batteries because of nuisance activations. Sometimes the chirping to warn of a low battery is interpreted as a nuisance alarm.
Installation and Operation Tips
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
- 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.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly.
- If a smoke alarm in the kitchen is sounding too often, the problem could be solved by moving the smoke alarm. Unless designed specifically for the area, all smoke alarms should be at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances.
- 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.
Hudson’s Hope Fire & Rescue Service wants to ensure that each residence in our community has at least one working smoke alarm. To achieve this goal, we ask that if you have any questions regarding proper installation, testing, or do not have a working smoke alarm in your home please contact Fire Chief Brad Milton (250) 783-9901 Ext. 208 or any member of the Hudson’s Hope Fire & Rescue Service for assistance.
Fire Prevention Links
Homeowners’ Guide to Forest Fires: How to Protect Your Home
How to Escape a Burning Building
Fire Safety in the Home: Minimize Your Risks & Keep Your Family Safety
Do Your Home Materials Pose a Fire Risk?
Earthquake Recovery Resource Guide
Shake Out: 6 Steps to Quake-proof Your Home