Smoke Alarm Tips

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Where there is love, there are smoke alarms.


Protect the ones you love.  Only working smoke alarms save lives.

Smoke alarms show you care!

 In 2013 there were an estimated 369,500 reported home structure fires and 2,755 associated civilian deaths in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Roughly 3 out of 5 of those deaths happened in homes where there were no smoke alarms, or the alarms were not working.

When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. You and your family may have less than two minutes to escape.  Your ability to escape from a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms, as well as advance planning. 

Working smoke alarms give you early warning, and a home fire escape plan that everyone knows and has practiced will help you get outside quickly and safely.

Smoke alarm safety tips

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area.
  • Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall.
  • Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers. 
  • It is best to use interconnected alarms.  When one sounds, they all sound. 

Smoke alarms need a little "TLC"

  • Test all smoke alarms once a month.  Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Change all smoke alarm batteries once a year (unless they have long life lithium batteries), or when they chirp with a low battery signal.
  • Replace all smoke alarms with new ones once a decade (every 10 years).  This includes hardwired smoke alarms, too!   The date it was manufactured will be stamped on the back of it.  

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan 

When the smoke alarm sounds, everyone in your family should know what to do.  That's why it's so important to have a home fire escape plan and practice it.  For easy planning, download these resources: