Smoke Detectors
Some tips…

Test and maintain your smoke detectors
Test smoke detectors in your home on a monthly basis by pushing the test button. An audible alarm will occur when you test the smoke detector.

“Change your clock, change your smoke detector battery”
A good reminder is to change the battery(s) when you set your clocks at
Daylight savings time and Standard time.

Place a smoke detector on every floor!
Place a smoke detector in all hallways which lead to sleeping rooms.  The Fire Department recommends that a battery-operated smoke detector be provided in all sleeping rooms.   If your home has more than one level, install a smoke detector on each level near the stairs.  Be sure to install the smoke detector as indicated in the manufacturer’s installation requirements.

Fire Extinguishers
Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? Many of us do. But few of us stop and think about when and how a fire extinguisher should be used. And when it shouldn’t.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that while a portable fire extinguisher can be an important part of your home’s fire protection program, the first thing you should do upon discovering a fire, no matter how small, is to get people out of the house and call the fire department.

After evacuating the home and alerting the fire department, NFPA recommends the following when using a fire extinguisher:

If you feel confident in fighting the fire, use the appropriate fire-fighting equipment.

Keep near a door that can be used as an escape route.  Never let the fire come between you and your way out.

Stay low to the floor to avoid breathing heated air, smoke and fumes.

If the fire is not quickly put out, get out of the home, closing doors behind you, and do not re-enter.

As always, your best defense against a fire is to be prepared. Take a moment to look at your fire extinguisher. Read the label. Get familiar with how to use it. The time to learn how to use your fire extinguisher is now – not during a fire.

In addition, all fire extinguishers in your home should have a label that says they are approved by Underwriters Laboratories (or equivalent). If it’s not approved, don’t use it. For example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently recalled 136,000 cans of “FIRE CAP” brand fire and smoke suppressant. This unapproved product was found not to suppress fires. In fact, it was found to make fires worse! For more information about this recall, see http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml00/00064.html

Do it now – you just might save a life!