Smoke Alarms Safety Tips

Fire safety, Home safety, smoke alarms, Smoke detector

Smoke alarms are undoubtedly important to have in every home. Keeping them in good shape will ensure that you and your family remain safe from fire and smoke inhalation. Following are some tips that will help you achieve that task.

Safety tips for smoke alarms

Don’t take the batteries out of your alarm should it go off. Many people do this after they burn something on the stove or in the oven, but this becomes a problem when one forgets to put them back in afterward. Instead when this happens, try opening all nearby doors and windows to air out the smoke and help push clean air over the sensor to stop it from going off. You can also try fanning the sensor with a large towel or t-shirt. This will create wind, more than just opening the windows and doors. Newer alarms have a quiet option just for this reason.

Don’t forget to test your alarm. It’s recommended that you do this once per month. Most smoke alarms have a test button on the side for easy testing. You will sleep easier knowing you will be awakened in the case of a fire.

Be sure to keep extra batteries in an easily accessible place. This way you are more likely to change them if they go kaput. You will know this is happening when the alarm goes off for no apparent reason. The beep may start to get faint or sound distorted.

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smoke alarms
By Bernard Goldbach under CC BY 2.0


Prevention is key when dealing with fire. Regular maintenance cannot be stressed enough. Also creating an escape and evacuation plan that you’ve practiced with your family and keeping up to date fire extinguishers are also important fire safety elements. Periodically go through your plans to keep them fresh in your mind, and don’t forget to change your extinguishers as well.

Many cities have programs that offer free smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and other fire safety equipment. Check with your city to see if any of these programs are available in your area. There may also be free fire safety classes to go with this free equipment. Education is the first step in safety and prevention. Acquiring the knowledge and skills to deal with a potentially life-threatening situation can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Many smoke alarms come as a combination with a carbon monoxide detector. This is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. It can cause death very quickly if enough is inhaled, which is why it is so important to detect, and as soon as possible.

Where should I locate smoke alarms for maximum safety and detect-ability? Every area with a separation should have one. This would be bedrooms, bathrooms, and any other separate area of the home. You can also interlink them so that if one sensor is tripped, the rest of the alarms go off at the same time. Some companies even offer protection through a home alarm system, which can then be monitored through electronic devices like a smart phone or computer.