Smoke Detector Safety
Seventeen million homes in America—26% of homes built before 2002—need to update their smoke alarm systems.
Sixty-seven percent of homes only have four alarms, when they should have at least five, if not more.
When asked what appliance they would replace if they knew it wasn’t functioning properly, 23% percent of respondents said they would replace their one furnace, air conditioning, or heater if they knew it wouldn’t work tomorrow. Fewer than 5% said they would replace their fire alarms.
NFPA 72, the model fire code, requires replacing a fire alarm every ten years.
After ten years, your fire alarm has operated for more than 87,000 hours and has a 30% chance of not working due to age-related factors, like dust accumulation and airborne contaminants.
Replace your fire alarms if you don’t know how old they are, or if they are older than ten years. If you’ve lived in a home for more than ten years and have never replaced your fire alarms, do so now. Similarly, if you’ve recently moved into a home and you’re unsure of how old the fire alarms are, replace them.
Other Safety Tips
- Install smoke alarms on each floor, including living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways outside of all sleeping areas.
- Install C02 alarms on each floor near sleeping areas, and replace every five years
- Place fire extinguishers on every floor, and periodically check the gauges on them and replace if their tanks are empty.
- Develop and practice a fire plan with your family.