Fire Prevention Week runs October 9 - 15 this year, which is a good time to remember to replace your smoke alarm batteries.
Do you really need to have smoke alarms in your home? Yes! You are four times more likely to survive a home fire if you have a working smoke alarm. During a fire, you may have less than three minutes to escape. Smoke spreads fast, and smoke alarms alert you to the danger and give you time to get out.
Different types of smoke alarms are available - Ionization vs photolectric, battery operated vs wired in. The place to install smoke detectors in your home depends on when your home was built and how many levels - but there should be one on each level of your home and near bedrooms.
Actually, do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If the
manufacture date of the smoke alarm is older than 10 years (not the date when you bought the alarm), it is time to replace the whole smoke alarm unit. Look on the back side of your smoke alarm to find the manufacture and expiration dates.
Smoke alarms must be maintained, tested and batteries replaced according to the manufacturer's recommended instructions. If the alarm chirps, it's time to replace the battery - or possibly the entire smoke alarm.
It is also important to have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home near the bedrooms. You may replace a hard-wired smoke alarm with a hard-wired with battery back-up smoke/CO alarm.
For more information on types of alarms, place for proper installation and what to do if your smoke alarm sounds visit the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal Smoke Alarm FAQs website.