Smoke Alarm Istall

Smoke Alarms and Home Fire Safety Checks


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Smoke Alarms What types of smoke alarms can I buy?  How do I take care of my smoke alarm? Where do I put smoke alarms in my home? What do I do if my smoke alarm sounds while I'm cooking?  Are smoke alarms expensive? What powers a smoke alarm?

Smoke Alarms

Working smoke alarms save lives. On Average, each year in the city of Raleigh we have at least two fatalities from house fires. In some of the homes where people lost their lives smoke alarms were not present or the smoke alarms were not working. The Raleigh Fire wants help keep all our residents safe by having working smoke alarms in every home. 

Dan Doofus Realizes Smoke Alarms Are an Alarming Trend

In “An Alarming Trend,” Dan Doofus needs to be reminded again about home fire safety and the importance of working smoke alarms. A low battery chirp from a smoke alarm is a signal that it’s time to replace batteries. Smoke alarms should be interconnected and installed on every level of the home and in bedrooms, and tested at least once per month. For more information about home smoke alarms, go to https://www.nfpa.org/smokealarms. © 2015 National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®). All rights reserved.

 

What types of smoke alarms can I buy? 

Smoke Alarm Test
  • There are many brands of smoke alarms on the market, but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.
  • Ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms detect different types of fires. Since no one can predict what type of fire might start in their home, the USFA recommends that every home and place where people sleep have:
  • Both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms. OR
  • Dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound.
  • There are also alarms for people with hearing loss. These alarms may have strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to alert those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.

How do I take care of my smoke alarm?

Smoke Alarm Test

Is your smoke alarm still working? A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all. A smoke alarm only works when it is properly installed and regularly tested. Take care of your smoke alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Below are some general maintenance tips.

Smoke alarm powered by a nine-volt battery

  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Replace the batteries at least once every year.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Smoke alarm powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long-life”) battery

  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Smoke alarm that is hardwired into your home's electrical system

  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Replace the backup battery at least once every year.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Home Smoke Alarms Are Getting Smarter

Effective June 2021, UL LLC will no longer list smoke alarms that are unable to distinguish between non-fire sources of smoke and smoke from an actual fire. Nuisance alarms sound when the alarm is set off by non-fire incidents like cooking, and are the #1 reason why people disconnect their smoke alarms. Without working smoke alarms, people are more than twice as likely to die in a home fire. With smarter smoke alarms available, the hope is that fewer people will disable their smoke alarms, leading to fewer fire deaths. It also has the potential to reduce the number of nuisance alarm calls that fire departments have to respond to each year. For more information about home smoke alarms, go to https://www.nfpa.org/smokealarms. ©2020 National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA). All rights reserved.

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Where do I put smoke alarms in my home?

A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Put smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Put alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
Place smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on the wall. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the best place for your alarm.
Only qualified electricians should install hardwired smoke alarms.

 

Home Smoke Alarm Testing and Maintenance

Sharon Gamache from NFPA® explains how to select the different home smoke alarms, the difference between ionization and photoelectric alarms, and other important features of home smoke alarms. Home smoke alarms should be tested monthly to make sure they work properly, and should be replaced every 10 years. Home smoke alarms should also be interconnected and installed on every level of the home, inside the bedrooms, and outside the sleeping areas. Learn more about home smoke alarms at www.nfpa.org/smokealarms. © 2019 National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®). All rights reserved.

What do I do if my smoke alarm sounds while I'm cooking? 

Smoke Alarm
  • Never take the battery out of your smoke alarm while cooking! If a smoke alarm sounds while you're cooking or taking a shower with lots of steam, do not remove the battery. You should:
  • Open a window or door and press the “hush” button.
  • Wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air.
  • Move the entire alarm several feet away from the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Disabling a smoke alarm or removing the battery can be a deadly mistake.

Smoke Alarm Technologies for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Most smoke and fire alarms use an audible signal to alert people it's time to evacuate. But what about people who are deaf or hard of hearing? A number of intriguing alarm technologies have been explored for this population, from bed-shaking devices to robot dogs—yes, you read that right. In this episode of Learn Something New™ by NFPA Journal®, we examine three of those technologies and their effectiveness. Learn more about these and other smoke alarm tech for deaf and hard of hearing individuals: https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Researc... Fire Prevention Week is October 3-9! This year's theme centers around the sounds of fire safety as well as alarm technologies for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Learn more: https://www.fpw.org Disclaimer: This video was created for educational/informational purposes using content under a Creative Commons license and/or fair use principles. If you are the creator or own the footage featured in this video and have questions or reservations, please notify me via averzoni@nfpa.org ©2021 National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®). All rights reserved.

Are smoke alarms expensive?

  • Smoke alarms are not expensive and are worth the lives they can help save.
  • Alarm type and cost
  • Ionization and photoelectric: $6 and up
  • Dual sensor: $24 and up
  • Smoke alarms with a microprocessor (faster to alert, fewer false alarms): $30 and up
  • Radio frequency/wireless (communicate from one to the next without wires): $40 and up

What powers a smoke alarm?

Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarms are powered by battery or by your home's electrical system. If the smoke alarm is powered by battery, it runs on either a disposable nine-volt battery or a non-replaceable 10-year lithium (“long-life”) battery. Alarms that get power from your home's electrical system, or “hardwired,” usually have a back-up battery that will need to be replaced once a year.

Contact

 

Raleigh Fire Department

Dillon Building
310 West Martin Street
Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27601

919-996-6392
FirePrevention@raleighnc.gov

Lead Department:
Fire
Service Categories:
Office of the Fire MarshalFire Education

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