2 Recent Fires in DC Homes Highlight Danger of Broken Smoke Detectors
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Two homes in DC were burned after fires broke out on Tuesday, June 4th. Both fires broke out in buildings with non-functioning smoke detectors. One woman died from her injuries after being rescued by firefighters, and a dog was found dead after the other fire. These fires demonstrate the danger of having broken or absent smoke alarms in the home. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that households without functioning smoke alarms have double the death rate from fires compared to households with a sufficient amount of working smoke alarms. Here are some tips from the NFPA about how to make sure you have safe and working smoke detectors in your home.
How to Keep Up on Smoke Detector Safety
“A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.”
“Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.”
“Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.”
“Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.”
“Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.”
“When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.”
“Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years”
Testing Smoke Alarms
“Smoke alarms should be maintained according to manufacturer’s instructions.”
“Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.”
“Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.”
“Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to keep smoke alarms working well. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the internet.”
“Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.”
“Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.”
“When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.”
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