The Importance of Working Smoke Detectors

When there’s a fire, smoke spreads fast. This means properly-working smoke detectors are a key part of your home fire escape plan. Smoke detectors can give you plenty of warning so you and your family can get outside quickly. However, smoke detectors tend to be one of those “out of sight, out of mind” items. Most of us don’t think about them--until we actually need them.

Here are some tips to make sure your smoke alarms are placed correctly and are working properly to help keep everyone in your home safe:

  • Make sure there are enough smoke detectors placed in your home and that they are installed in the right locations.
  • So - where should smoke detectors be installed? There should be one in every bedroom in your house, as well as one outside each sleeping area. There should additionally be a smoke detector on every level of the house, including the basement--if you have one. Also, smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 ft away from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking.
  • Test detectors once a month to make sure they are in good working condition. According to the National Fire Protection Association, half of all home fire deaths happen between the hours of 11:00pm - 7:00am when most people are sleeping. Also, about 60% of home fire deaths happen in home fires with either no working smoke alarms or no smoke alarms at all.

If you or someone in your house has special needs, there are even smoke detectors for the deaf or hard-of-hearing. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers to alert occupants of a fire. Click here for a pdf from the NFPA (Smoke Alarms - Hard of Hearing pdf)

Keep you and your family safe by checking your smoke detectors, testing them regularly, placing them in the correct locations around your home, and replacing them when they are over 10 years old. Make sure to check out the videos below for even more information!


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Smoke detectors work nonstop, monitoring your home to keep your family safe. And, like most appliances, they can wear down over time. Watch this video to see how you can check your detectors!


The lifespan of a smoke detector is 10 years. But how do you find out how old a smoke detector is and whether it needs to be replaced? Check out this video and we will show you where to look and easily see how old it is.


Do you have a worn-out smoke detector that is either dead or dying? Or maybe multiple smoke detectors? We'll show you how you can replace them in your home yourself with very few tools and this step-by-step video! 

Check out some of our other Fire Prevention blog posts and videos too!
   • Planning A Family Fire Safety Night
   • Two Minutes Out: Every Second Counts
   • The Importance of a Fire Escape Plan
   • How To Replace Smoke Detector Batteries
   • Any Hour Fire Safety Booklet


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Sep 26th 2019

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