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Fire Fighter Safety Blog: Working Smoke Alarms


We’ve decided that the New Year will be pronounced ‘twenty – ten’, we’ve thrown out the last of the holiday cookies, and started our new workout programs.  So….how else do we start this new decade?



I actually spend the majority of my time concerned with fire fighter safety, but I realize most of you reading this are not professional firefighters.  So I’m going to start out this new decade thinking of YOUR safety.  And the best safety advice I can give you is this: 

Make sure you have a working

smoke alarm

in your home.

At the minimum you should have one on every level of your house.  It is especially important to mount them high (on the ceiling is best) because that’s where the smoke is going to travel should you have a fire.   Test your smoke alarm every week and if you haven’t installed new batteries in the last six months, do it now and then every time you change your clocks (spring and fall).

Better yet, buy one of the new smoke alarms with a 10 year battery and ‘hush’ feature.  The hush feature is great for alarms that go off when you cook or take a hot shower.  It will silence the alarm for about 10 minutes and then it automatically reactivates. 

The important part is to make sure it works and maintain it.  Let everyone in your home (especially the children) know what the alarm sounds like when it alarms.  Develop an escape plan and practice it.  Establish a meeting place outside your house so everyone is accounted for.  When a fire occurs, get out of the house and use your neighbor’s phone to call 911.  Don’t try to fight the fire or re-enter to save your belongings. 

Working smoke alarms save lives.  Most fire deaths are the result of smoke inhalation, not burns.  Start off the new decade safely, taking care of yourself and your loved ones.  This could be the most important thing you do all year!  Happy New Year!


January 12, 2010


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