You want your home to be a safe retreat from danger. While there are numerous ways to improve home safety, fires are a common threat that you have the power to prevent with preparation.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half by providing an early warning. Having a fresh battery in your smoke detector plays a critical role in giving families the time needed to safely escape a home fire.
Count your smoke alarms
Increase your fire safety efforts by ensuring at least one smoke alarm less than 10 years old is installed on every level of your home, including one in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. Take inventory of how many batteries are required to power these smoke alarms so you can be prepared to keep them operational.
Change your batteries
Seventy-one percent of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Change smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries annually. Stay on schedule by making it a family tradition to change your batteries on the same day you change your clocks back to standard time, this year on November 1. It’s a great way to use the extra hour “gained” from daylight saving time.
Check alarms and detectors
After inserting a fresh battery in each smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, push the safety test button to ensure they work. Conduct this test monthly. Never disconnect smoke alarm batteries no matter how annoying the sound; remember: a “chirping” alarm signals a need for a fresh battery.
Replace smoke alarms
The International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years and having a combination of both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms to keep you alert to all types of home fires.
Change flashlight batteries
Keep flashlights with fresh batteries at your bedside. In the event of a fire, they can provide much needed assistance for finding the way out and signaling for help.
Get the family involved
Less than a quarter of U.S. families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Make sure family members, in particular children, know what the alarms and detectors sound like and what they should do if they go off.
Take action for the safety of your family and make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s the first step to a safer home.