Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying in a house fire in half. Smoke alarms give early warnings of fast spreading smoke making them a key part of a home fire escape plan.
Tips from the National Fire Protection Association:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and in the basement.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms, when one alarm is triggered they all will sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Today’s smoke alarms have the capability to respond to a multitude of fire conditions and reduce false alarms.
- A smoke alarm should be placed on the ceiling or high on a wall and away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
- People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can use special alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
The St. Charles Fire Department has developed an outreach program to help supply senior citizens and those in need with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The program provides the following services:
- Home assessments to determine the need for smoke alarms and to identify any existing fire hazards in older adults’ homes.
- Smoke alarm installation to ensure participants’ homes are adequately equipped with working smoke alarms.
- Education to provide in-person fire safety messages and tips to older adults, their family members and caregivers.
- Follow-up to determine if alarms are still working; to assess any changes in the older adults’ fire safety knowledge, attitudes and behaviors; and to see if any fires have occurred.
Anyone in need of assistance with their smoke detectors can contact the St. Charles Fire Department at 630.377.4458.