Statistics reveal that fatality rates in house fires are halved when smoke alarms are properly installed. They save thousands of lives every year. But, it’s estimated that one out of three installed smoke alarms are not functioning – often because of old batteries.
A smoke alarm’s main purpose is to wake us during a fire. That’s why smoke alarms should be positioned between any bedroom and the rest of the home. You should also install one inside your bedroom if you sleep with the door closed. In multi-story homes, smoke alarms should be installed on every floor, regardless of the presence of bedrooms.
Check your smoke alarms monthly. Test them by pushing and holding the button on the front for two seconds until you hear a beep. If the smoke alarm doesn’t beep, replace it with a new one immediately.
Even when smoke alarms are wired into the home’s electrical system and the batteries are used as back-up power source, you should still replace the batteries at least once a year. When the batteries are low, the smoke alarm will start chirping every 20 seconds, and will continue to do so until the battery is replaced. Avoid this nuisance by changing the smoke alarm’s batteries whenever you reset your clocks for daylight saving time.
Checking in on your smoke alarms once in a while will allow you to enjoy a safe, restful night’s sleep!