Smoke detectors are a critical device to have in your home. They protect your family and your property from the risk of fire and while we may not pay much attention them, keeping them working at all times is a must if you want to be able to depend on them in a time of need.
The devices work by sounding off an audible alarm tone that’s purposely loud and startling. The hope is that the noise will be heard throughout the home and even wake you if you are asleep. Sensors in the device detect smoke in the air, and alert the device to send out the warning. Sensitivities in detecting smoke can vary, so be sure you’re choosing a model that accommodates your needs and offers the best protection while keeping you up to fire codes.
Staying abreast of the latest product recalls is important for safety reasons. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announces recalls regularly to keep the public informed and proactive about possible dangers. Most recently, they issued a recall for the Kidde dual-sensor (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms (models PI2010 and PI9010) because they include a yellow cap that was left on in the manufacturing process that could cover a smoke sensor and lead to missed detection of smoke.
Homeowners with these models should have them replaced immediately.
While having no smoke alarm installed in the home can lead to serious consequences, there are still many elderly and low income homes that live with this risk each day.
This spring, the Red Cross is leading efforts to reduce deaths from home fires with “Sound the Alarm” and will install 100,000 free smoke alarms to high risk neighborhoods across the nation.
As a responsible homeowner, you should also strive to practice safe handling of fire in the kitchen and fireplace, be aware of dangerous situations and cautious about overloading circuits or extension cords as well as having your dryer vents cleaned regularly. .
It’s also a good idea to have an escape plan ready to ensure your family gets out safely in the event of a fire.
Battery failure is one of the top ways having a smoke alarm can still lead to injuries and deaths. Just because the device is present doesn’t mean it’s working. It’s important to check your smoke alarm often for proper functioning.
Spring is a great time to check and even swap out those batteries for new, fresh ones, even if they haven’t totally drained yet.
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