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Emergency Services


Remember, Smoke Detectors Save Lives

It's a fact that while smoke alarms save lives, alarms can't protect people if they're not in working order. The sad reality is that even though nearly all U.S. homes have smoke alarms, one in five homes have alarms that don't work.

To protect your life and property, your smoke alarms must work. …

  • Test every smoke alarm in your home at least once a month, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Replace the batteries in all your smoke alarms at least once a year or as soon as the alarm "chirps" warning the battery is low.
  • Test your alarms monthly even if your alarms use "long life" 10 year batteries or are powered by household current.
  • Schedule battery replacement on a day you'll remember and make it an annual routine.
  • Smoke alarms don't last forever - replace any smoke alarm that's 10 years old.
  • Consider installing smoke alarms with "long life" (10 year) batteries. These alarms must be tested once a month.
  • Clean your smoke alarms regularly, following the manufacturer's instructions. Dust, insects, and other things can prevent your alarm from working properly when needed.
  • Hold home fire drills at least twice a year. Pretend some exits are blocked to make them realistic. Practice your escape in the dark. Practice these drills at night to be sure your children are conditioned to respond to the alarm. Studies have shown that many children sleep right through an alarm. We must mentally condition our children to respond the same as they would for an alarm clock.
  • Draw a floor plan of your home showing two escape routes - including windows - from each room. Discuss escape plans with everyone in the household.
  • Choose a meeting place outside your home where everyone can meet when they've escaped.


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