Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How well do you know your smoke detectors?!

Installing and maintaining your smoke detector could be one of the most important things you do this year to keep your family safe. Take the quiz below to see how well you know how to use and maintain your smoke detectors!

1. Where are your smoke detectors located?
Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. Make sure to have at least one smoke detector on each floor of your house (including the basement).

2. Have you changed the batteries in your smoke detectors?
The batteries in your smoke detector should be replaced yearly, or as soon as you hear a low-battery warning which usually sounds like a “chirping” noise. NEVER remove the battery from or disable a smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms”, try locating it further from kitchens or bathrooms.

3. How old are your smoke detectors?
Smoke alarms DO wear out. Replace your alarms every 10 years to ensure that it is working properly.

4. Are you familiar with the sound of your smoke detectors?
Teach children and household members what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it. Plan regular fire drills to practice your escape plan ensuring everyone in your home knows exactly what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.

5. Have you tested your smoke detectors lately?
Smoke detectors should be tested monthly. Make sure you know what condition your detector is in! It could save your life!

If you answered these questions correctly, thanks for being a Firestopper in your community!

These fire safety tips are brought to you by Team Firestopper! We’re working to stop fires before they start in your community! For more information or fire tips, visit www.chicagoredcross.org/tfs or www.redcross.org/homefires!

Sources: American Red Cross, U.S. Fire Administration*, and the National Fire Protection Association

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