Smoke Alarms Save Lives

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More than 1.6 million fires are reported each year in the United States.  It's a sobering statistic, especially when you consider the more than 3,600 people who lose their lives in these fires.

Everyone knows smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, but many homeowners forget to ensure their alarms and detectors are in working order.  According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), no smoke alarms were present in 42 percent of fatal residential structure fires.  When smoke alarms were present (58 percent of fatal fires), only 37 percent of those alarms were reported to e working correctly.

In spite of recent news reports showing children sleeping through mock-fire alarms, smoke detectors remain the cornerstone of fire safety in the home. 

Remember, smoke alarms are only one tool at your disposal to help keep your family safe in case of a home fire.  Every home and business should also have a fire escape plan to go along with its emergency preparedness plan.

USFA Smoke Alarm Tips
* In standard battery-powered smoke alarms, the batteries need to be replaced at least once per year and the whole unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.

* Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible.  Always follow the manufacturer's installation instruction.

* Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.

* For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas.

* Contact your local fire department on a non emergency phone number if you need help or have questions about fire safety in your home.