Fire Prevention Tips And Technology
North American Precis Syndicate
Properly installed and maintained smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could save thousands of lives a year—maybe even yours. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—They look like small, plastic boxes, round or square, stuck
up on the wall or the ceiling—but they could save your life.
They’re smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Facts And Figures
On average, eight people die in a home fire each day in the
U.S.—almost 3,000 people every year. While working smoke alarms cut the
chance of dying in a fire nearly in half, roughly two-thirds of all home fire
deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, according to the National
Fire Protection Association.
As for carbon monoxide detectors, more than 200 people die from carbon
monoxide (CO) poisoning in the U.S. annually. Several thousand more are
treated in hospital emergency rooms for CO poisoning. Yet an estimated 70
percent of U.S. homes are not protected by a working CO alarm. CO is created
when common fuels such as natural gas, oil, wood or coal burn incompletely.
This odorless, colorless, tasteless gas is often called the “silent
killer” because it is virtually undetectable without the use of proper
technology. You can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer time as
well as by a large amount over a shorter time.
What You Need To Know
For the best protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected, so that
they all sound if one sounds. Manufacturers are now producing
battery-operated alarms that are interconnected by wireless technology.
Combination smoke alarms that include both ionization and photoelectric
alarms offer the most comprehensive protection. An ionization alarm is more
responsive to flames, while a photoelectric alarm is more responsive to a
Hardwired smoke alarms with battery backups are considered to be more
reliable than those operated solely by batteries.
What You Need To Do
• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area,
and on every level of the home including in hallways and the basement.
• Choose alarms that bear the label of a nationally recognized testing
• Install smoke alarms at least 10 feet from cooking appliances to
reduce the possibility of false alarms.
• If possible, alarms should be mounted in the center of a ceiling.
If mounted on a wall, they should be six to 12 inches below the ceiling.
• Avoid locating alarms near bathrooms, heating appliances, windows
or ceiling fans.
• Test your alarms every month by pressing the TEST button.
• Replace the batteries at least once a year. If an alarm
“chirps” or “beeps” to indicate low batteries,
replace them immediately.
• Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum the exterior of the alarm.
• Replace the alarms in accordance with the manufacturer’s
instructions, but at least every 10 years.
• Never paint over an alarm.
• If you have difficulty hearing, you can get alarms with
low-pitched sounds or vibrations.
For further facts and tips on how to stay safe from fire, by the experts
at Electrical Safety Foundation International, the premier nonprofit
organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety at home and
in the workplace, visit www.esfi.org.
“Properly installed and maintained smoke and
carbon monoxide alarms could save thousands of lives a year—maybe even
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)