As you go through the semi-annual ritual of adjusting your clock this weekend, make it a habit to check your smoke alarms and change the batteries.
Most fatal fires occur at night. Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
The NFPA recommends having smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, as well as in the basement.
Here are tips from CAL FIRE and the NFPA to ensure proper installation of smoke alarms:
- Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4 inches from the wall.
- Wall mounts should be 4-12 inches from the ceiling.
- Do not install smoke alarms near windows, vents, and other draft areas
- Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
- It’s best to use interconnected smoke alarms, so when one goes off, they all go off.
If your smoke alarm is more than ten years old, replace it. New technology on the market provides multi-sensing alarms, with devices now able to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide.
Check out this smoke alarm tip sheet created by the National Fire Protection Association.