Change Your Clocks—Change Your Batteries

There is a lot that we can do to keep our homes and families safe from fire and in future articles we’ll expand on the most prevalent home fire hazards but for now we’d like to present some details about one of the single most life saving devices you can have in your home—Smoke Alarms.

Here are some tips from the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association to better protect homes:

  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home (including the basement), outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.
  • Larger homes may need additional smoke alarms.
  • Never remove or disable smoke alarms.
  • Interconnection of smoke alarms is highly recommended; when one smoke alarm sounds, they all do. (This is particularly important in larger or multi-story homes, where the sound from distant smoke alarms may be reduced to the point that it may not be loud enough to provide proper warning, especially for sleeping individuals.)

A licensed electrician can install either hard-wired multiple-station alarms. Wireless alarms, which manufacturers have more recently begun producing, can be installed by the homeowner.

There are two types of smoke alarm technologies — ionization and photoelectric.

  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires which consume combustible materials rapidly and spread quickly— like a cooking pan fire.
  • A photoelectric alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires — like a cigarette slowly burning on a couch or bed or possibly from overheated wiring.
  • Install both types of alarms in your home or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms that take advantage of both technologies.

-Test smoke alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

-If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

-All smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and those that are hard-wired alarms, should be replaced when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.

As the date approaches (Sunday November 8th) for us to change our clocks for day light savings time, remember to change your smoke alarm batteries. 

To Rochester Hills residents: The Rochester Hills Fire Department will provide free 9-volt batteries for your smoke alarm while supplies last. Also available are free smoke alarms for your home. To take advantage of these life saving devices, you can call 248-841-2705 for details.

About Tom and Ann Gendich

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