The Importance of Smoke Detectors

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are over 353,000 residential fires each year in the United States. Between cooking accidents and electrical equipment failure, fires can be caused by a number of issues. While it’s impossible to prevent them, you can detect them with functional smoke detectors.

Keep reading to learn more about home smoke detectors and their importance in keeping people and property safe.

Prevent injuries or death

Believe it or not, installing and maintaining smoke detectors can reduce the risk of death or injuries by 50 percent. Approximately 2,000 individuals die in residential fires each year, and there are over 11,000 injuries. Because deadly gases and smoke spread faster than fire itself, a majority of these deaths and injuries are due to smoke inhalation rather than burns.

Additionally, about 67 percent of these deaths occur in homes without functional smoke detectors. Smoke detectors typically cost less than $70, and testing them only takes a few moments—there’s no reason to neglect installing and testing your detectors.

Mitigate property loss

House fires cause nearly $12 billion in property damage each year. While that’s nothing compared to the loss of a loved one, you can avoid property damage by installing smoke detectors throughout your home. The earlier you’re alerted to a fire and able to call the fire department, the greater the chance they’ll be able to save you and salvage your belongings.

Where should smoke detectors be installed?

Now that you better understand home smoke detector importance, do you know where smoke detectors should be installed? The answer is easy: you need them throughout the house!

Each level of your home should have at least one functional smoke detector at all times. The peak time for residential fires is between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM, so you should also install detectors inside each bedroom to alert sleeping family members.

Smoke rises, so mount detectors high on walls or on the ceiling. In the kitchen, be sure to place your smoke detector at least 10 feet from a stove or oven to minimize the chance of setting it off while cooking.

How often should smoke detectors be tested?

Installing smoke detectors is step one in preparing for a fire, but you can’t stop there. You should also test your smoke detectors once a month by pressing the “test” button on the alarm. Regular testing is the only way to guarantee your smoke detector will alert you if there’s a house fire.

When should I change the batteries?

We recommend installing hardwired smoke detectors, but if you have battery-powered ones, be sure to keep an eye (and ear) on the batteries. The device will start to chirp once the battery gets low, but make a habit of swapping out the batteries once a year to ensure functionality.

Are you prepared for a fire?

Functional smoke detectors do wonders to help you survive a house fire. But along with installing your smoke detectors, consider designing and practicing a fire escape plan. Fires can happen at any moment—call our team at Great Escape Fire Escape Service today for help creating your escape plan.

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