When Was the Last Time You Checked Your Smoke Detector?
When installed correctly and properly maintained, smoke alarms can dramatically reduce the risk of injuries and even death caused by fires. According to data by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
- Smoke alarms were present in three-quarters (74%) of reported home fires in 2014–2018.
- Almost 3 out of 5 home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41%) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16%).
- When smoke alarms were present in reported fires considered large enough to activate them, they operated in eighty-nine percent of the fires, seventy-three percent of the deaths, and eighty-two percent of the injuries.
- The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is fifty-five percent lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked.
- When present, hardwired smoke alarms operated in ninety-four percent of the fires considered large enough to trigger a smoke alarm. Battery-powered alarms functioned eighty-two percent of the time. Power source issues were the most common factors when smoke alarms failed to operate.
If you'd like to read more on the report, you can do so here. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also recommends the following:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every bedroom. Do not install the smoke alarm where it could be blocked or damaged.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen and shower to prevent false alarms and should be at least around ten feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year, though twice would be best. Daylight savings time can be good dates to set for this task.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are ten years old. Don't forget to write the date on the alarm when it was installed.
- Newer alarms on the market also offer carbon monoxide detection and voice alarms, which have shown to be more effective in waking children up.
Should fire damage happen in your home, our team of certified experts at SERVPRO of Northeast Spokane stands ready to help make it "Like it never even happened."® Let us know how we can help at 509-474-9144.