Sunday, November 2
Daylight saving time has been a traditional time to change the batteries in your home’s smoke alarms. Due to changes in technology, batteries may be designed to last longer (up to 10 years), making it unnecessary to change them so often. It is important to understand how smoke alarms in your home work, so you understand how to best maintain them. Check with the manufacturer’s instructions for the alarms in your home for specific directions.
Here are some general guidelines in maintaining your home’s smoke alarms on a monthly basis:
- Push the test button on each smoke alarm unit to ensure that it works. If the battery needs to be replaced, make sure that the unit is not expired, and replace the battery with a model listed on the unit. Some batteries are incompatible and can explode.
- Clean each smoke alarm with a vacuum. Dust and insects can reduce the sensitivity of the unit.
- Check for an expiration date on the unit. Most smoke alarm manufacturers recommend replacing smoke alarms after 10 years, due to reduced sensitivity. If the unit is hard-wired, replace with a similar unit. Newer homes have smoke alarms that are interconnected, so if one unit alarms, all units in the home will sound.
- Install smoke alarms on every level and in each hallway leading to bedrooms in your home. For the best protection, also install smoke alarms in each bedroom.
Statistics from the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office from 2009-2013 show that 51% of smoke alarms that failed to sound did so due to missing or disconnected batteries. They also say that a person is four times more likely to survive a home fire if they have a working smoke alarm. During a fire, a person may have less than three minutes to escape. Installing and maintaining working smoke alarms in your home is a simple way to protect yourself and your family from being injured or killed in a fire.
If you have any questions, or are in need of working smoke alarms, please contact the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District.