In our area, the Red Cross responds to more than two disasters per day - the majority of which are home fires. Having working smoke alarms is a simple way families can decrease the danger of a fire in their home. Properly installed smoke alarms help to safeguard loved ones in the home, protecting against fire-caused property loss, injury and even death.
Smoke alarms need to be cleaned and checked regularly to ensure they are still working correctly. On average, about one third of smoke alarms are not working, because they have been disabled, are missing a battery, are filled with dust or cobwebs or have aged beyond use.
The Red Cross encourages community members to follow these steps to keep their smoke alarms in working order:
- Make sure there is a smoke alarm on every level of your home and in each bedroom.
- Keep smoke alarms away from windows, doors, walls, or ducts that can interfere with their operation.
- Check your smoke alarm monthly, making sure it is turned on, clean of dust and debris, and has batteries.
- Replace smoke alarm batteries every year.