Most home fire deaths happen between 10 o’clock at night and 6 in the morning. Many victims die because of smoke and toxic gases, not the fire itself. Smoke detectors can wake you and give you time to escape. When purchasing a smoke alarm, look for one that is accepted by an independent testing facility, such as Underwriters Laboratories or Factory Mutual.
Location: The best place for your smoke alarms
- On every level of your home, including the basement and workshop
- Outside every bedroom
- On the ceiling 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling on the wall. Keep them away from air vents.
Testing: Test the alarm batteries once a month
- Press the test button with your finger.
- Replace the batteries once a year.
Maintenance: Clean the alarm following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Vacuum the grillwork on the detector periodically to keep it dust-free.
Preventing Nuisance Alarms: Move the alarm away from the kitchen or bathroom.
- Get a different type of smoke alarm, like a photoelectric that’s less sensitive to common cause of false alarms.
- Choose a smoke alarm that has a silencing feature, so nuisance alarms can be stopped quickly and easily.