It is that time of year again when days grow shorter, nights longer and, most of the US clocks "fell back" an hour last month. This time changes serves as an excellent reminder to replace smoke detector batteries. Through valuable changing the battery in an smoke detector is only one step in ensuring that this life saving device does its job.
A smoke detector should be installed in each bedroom and on every level of your home, if you have them make sure they are in good working order. They should be tested once a month, they are equipped with a test button that, when pressed and held down for a few seconds will activate the alarm.
Use a safe contained source of smoke such as incense or "synthetic smoke" in an aerosol can to test the detector. IF the smoke detector are more than 10 years old, consider replacing them. They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that's more than 87,000 hours over 10 year period.
With smoke detectors, cleanliness is important. A dusty or lind-laden unit can't do its job properly. It should be vacuum with an upholstery attachment periodically to remove the dust buildup.
A recent released report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on the audibility of smoke alarms found that linking or interconnecting smoke alarms could provide an earlier warning to fire and smoke. The study also found that wireless technology could be sa solution to better protecting American homes.
With an interconnected device, when one alarm detects smoke, it triggers all other alarms to sound. The immediate reaction provides more warning in more places. There is, on average, only three minutes to escape a house fire after the first smoke alarm goes off.
Families should create and frequently practice a fire-escape plan. Make sure everyone, including children know what the smoke alarm sounds like. Practice the escape plan during the day and at night when family members are asleep to see if everyone responds. If an older child or adult doesn't wake up, assign an adult to wake and assist that individual in the even of a fire. Always assist younger children.
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