Your home can burn faster than you think. You may have as little as two minutes (or even less time) to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
Home fire escape planning and practicing
It is important for everyone to plan and practice a home fire escape. Everyone needs to be prepared in advance, so that they know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Given that every home is different, every home fire escape plan will also be different.
Have a plan for everyone in the home. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone will help them!
Smoke alarms sense smoke well before you can, alerting you to danger. Smoke alarms need to be in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (like a hallway), and on each level (including the basement) of your home. Do not put smoke alarms in your kitchen or bathrooms.
Choose an alarm that is listed with a testing laboratory, meaning it has met certain standards for protection.
For the best protection, use combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician, so that when one sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm originates.
Tips for your Smoke\CO alarms:
- Test your alarms monthly.
- Replace batteries once a year.
- Clean your alarms at least twice a year, using a vacuum cleaner to remove cobweb and dust that can reduce the unit's sensitivity.
- Install alarms according to manufacturer's instructions.