By Tom Kaufman
Upper Pine River Fire Protection District
Roughly two out of three fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that are not working.
Smoke alarms should be installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when they sound, they all sound. Most older homes to not have this level of protection.
Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. Where there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.
Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom.
Install alarms on every level of the house, including in the basement.
Replace batteries twice a year when you change your clocks. On Sunday, we set our clocks back one hour as we switch back to Mountain Standard Time.
Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home. Some alarms will do both, so check to see if you have both types.
A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Do not place any closer than 10 inches from the corner where the wall meets the ceiling. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms.
People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms that have strobe lights.
Replace smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Tom Kaufman is fire marshal for Upper Pine Fire District.