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FACT or MYTH: Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of loss of life in a reported fire in half.

March 2017

FACT! Smoke alarms that are working and are properly installed play a vital role in reducing fire-related death and injury. According to the National Fire Protection Association, when smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually due to the batteries being dead, disconnected, or missing. We suggest changing the batteries in your smoke detectors as you change the time on your clocks this weekend. Replacing the batteries and testing these devices helps to ensure your family’s safety in the event of a fire.

In addition to the importance of operational smoke detectors, the U.S. Fire Administration also distributes the following precautions:

  • Have at least one working smoke alarm on each floor and replace them every 10 years
  • Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place wires under rugs, over nails, or in high traffic areas.
  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use.
  • Keep portable space heaters isolated and at least 3 feet away from anything combustible. For fireplaces, utilize screens and have your chimney cleaned annually.
  • Plan your escape and practice it from every room in the house. Caution your family to stay low and to never open doors that are hot. Have a designated meeting spot outside where you will meet and then call for help.
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