SANDY, Utah (ABC4) – This week on Friday with Freddie, the Sandy Fire Department and Unified Fire Authority reviews the essentials of fire safety.
On May 21, the Sandy Fire Department and UFA is reminding families to pay attention to their smoke alarms.
“Smoke alarms are devices that can save your life! They alert you when smoke is present in or around your home. When you are sleeping, they are your “nose at night” and can help you escape safely in the event of a fire,” the Unified Fire Association states.
According to officials, it is vital to stay up to date with all smoke alarms because about two-thirds of the nation’s fire deaths happen in the victim’s very own home.
“The home is where we are at the greatest risk and where we must take the most precautions. Most deaths occur from inhaling smoke or poisonous gases, not from the flames,” they add.
So what are smoke alarms? Well, they are devices that are typically mounted on the wall or ceiling of a home. They are known to automatically issue a warning sound when smoke or other products of combustion are sensed.
When people are warned early enough about a fire, they can escape before it spreads.
How to install a smoke alarm
- According to officials, it is essential to install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement (but not unfinished attics). UFA says that an alarm should be in or near every sleeping area.
- When mounting your smoke alarm, place the device in an area high from the ground – remember, smoke rises. When a smoke alarm is mounted in a ceiling, officials say they should be at least four inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
- When installing smoke alarms, UFA advises citizens to not mount smoke alarms near windows, outside doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
When it comes to protecting your home from fire, smoke alarms are the cushion before flames get worse. They are the support needed to evacuate a home and are devices that can save your life.
Here are eight tips to keep in mind when maintaining your smoke alarm, according to fire officials:
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month by using the alarms’ “test button.”
- Never use an open-flame device to test the alarm as you could burn yourself or start a fire.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms once a year, or as soon as the alarm “chirps,” warning that the battery is low. Helpful hint: schedule battery replacements for the same day every year, such as your birthday.
- Regularly vacuuming or dusting your smoke alarm following the manufacturer’s instructions can help keep it working properly.
- Replace your smoke alarms once every 10 years.
- Never “borrow” a battery from a smoke alarm.
- Make sure that everyone in your home can hear and recognize the sound of the alarm and knows how to react immediately.
- Don’t paint your smoke alarms; paint or other decorations could keep them from working when you most need it.
When it comes to smoke alarms, get it, check it, and change it! For more information regarding fire safety, check out: www.homesafetycouncil.org.