Smoke alarms offer one of the most basic and least expensive tools you can find to help keep your family safe. According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, about 66 percent of fire deaths occur in homes that have either no smoke alarm or one that doesn’t work. Sadly, this is an easy enough situation to fix.
The best way to avoid a fire-related death in your home is by checking and maintaining your smoke detectors monthly. When you do, the first thing you should do is dust or vacuum around them to get rid of any dust or cobwebs that could impair its ability to detect smoke.
Next, use the alarm’s test button to ensure that the alarm sounds strong, indicating that a new battery is not needed. If the alarm sounds weak or distorted, it may be time to find another battery. Make sure you keep plenty on hand at all times since you never know when your smoke alarms might need a replacement.
You should have smoke alarms throughout your home, so repeat this activity on all of them each month to make sure they can do the job that you’ve set out for them. As you are cleaning and testing them, make sure to pay attention to any potential weak spots—which are spots that need another alarm because those in the area can’t be heard well enough in every room.
Smoke alarms generally last up to ten years according to the U.S. Fire Administration. When you first install a smoke alarm, make sure to mark the date of installation on the device. Then, during your monthly checks, replace all alarms that have reached their 10-year anniversary, even if they seem as though they still work.
It’s not difficult to keep your smoke alarms working and your family safe. By simply following these steps every month you will help increase your family’s safety in an easy, but vital way.
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