BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, A sound you can live with
(Brian Batten, Fire Marshall for the Ferndale Fire Department)
Smoke alarms save lives. Roughly tow-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with, either no smoke alarms or no smoke alarms that work. Take just a few minutes to check your smoke alarms today. National Fire Prevention Week was October 3rd, to October 9th, 2010.
Follow these simple rules to increase your chance of survival should a fire occur in your home…
●Install smoke detectors on each level of your house and outside the sleeping areas, and consider installing a Home Fire Sprinkler System.
●Make sure the smoke alarm has the label of a recognized testing laboratory, such as UL or FM
●Alarms that run on household current (even if they include a battery backup) require installation by a qualified electrician
●Alarms that run just on batteries can be installed by anyone following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
●Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice.
●Smoke alarms can also use strobe lights are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
●Vibration equipment (to shake the bed and wake the person) can be added to these alarms.
●If cooking fumes or steam sets off nuisance alarms, replace the alarm with an alarm that has a “hush” button, which will temporarily reduce the alarms sensitivity for a short period of time. You may be able to relocate the alarm.
●Use photoelectric alarm or ionization alarm with a hush button if the alarm is to be placed within 20 feet of a cooking appliance.
●An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. Both types of detection alarms or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) should be installed in the home.
●Look for the smoke alarm that has the wording on the package, “smoke and fire alarm”.
●Always save and follow the alarm manufacturer’s instructions for testing and maintenance.
●Test alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button.
●Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries are designed to work for 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire alarm.
●For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace the battery right away. You can now purchase a ten year lithium 9 volt battery which will reduce the need to replace batteries every year.
●Replace smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
●Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home.
●For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
Remember that many fire departments have smoke detector give away programs. The Ferndale Fire Department offers a free smoke detector to low income households, anyone with a disability and the elderly. A firefighter will install the smoke alarm free of charge. If you are disabled or elderly we will check your smoke alarm and change the battery once a year at no cost. To contact us, call 248-546-2510. You must be a resident of Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge or the Charter Township of Royal Oak to participate in our program.
Brian E. Batten, CFPS
City of Ferndale Fire Department
Ferndale, MI 48220
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM