Every year in the United States, about 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. Most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not as a result of burns. Most deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night while the victims are asleep. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends these measures because working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan will increase your protection in case of a fire.
Properly installed and maintained smoke detectors in the home are considered one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire. There is no doubt that smoke detectors save lives, prevent injuries, and minimize property damage by enabling residents to detect fires early in their development. The risk of dying from fires in homes without smoke detectors is twice as high as in homes that have working smoke alarms.
You can minimize your family's risk of fire-related injury or death by installing the right number of smoke detectors in the right places in your home, and by keeping them all in good working order. Therefore, it is important to put smoke detectors in the right places in your home and you should also test them regularly to make sure that they work properly.
- Install smoke detectors outside each bedroom and sleeping area, and on each level of your home, including the basement.
- Make sure the smoke detectors in your home have the ULC stamp of approval on the product and packaging.
- Read and follow every step of the manufacturer's directions when you install your smoke detectors.
- Follow the manufacturer's directions for testing and cleaning your smoke detectors.
- Change the batteries as often as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Never "borrow" batteries from your smoke detectors for some other device.
- Replace any smoke detector that is more than ten years old.
You can prevent tragedies simply by testing and maintaining your smoke alarms and practicing a fire escape plan. All smoke alarms in your house should be tested once a month and their batteries replaced annually.