Working smoke alarms throughout the home increases the chances of surviving a fire!
In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities in home fires, the Manitowoc Fire Rescue Department is recommending that homeowners make sure they have the appropriate number of working smoke alarms in their homes, and to make sure they are installed for proper operation and maximum efficiency.
Smart Choices for Smoke Alarm Placement, an education initiative supported nationally by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, encourages homeowners to understand smoke alarms and think strategically about their placement.
“Smoke alarms have been proven to increase the chances of survivor by giving the residents additional time to get out of the house,” explained Manitowoc Fire Rescue Department Fire Chief Todd Blaser. “However, many residents do not have the appropriate number of working smoke alarms in their home which leaves them under protected. This is a major issue as the home is the place you are most likely to die in a fire as 85 percent of all fatal fires occur in a residence. That’s close to 2,650 people losing their life in the United States each year as the result of a fire in their home.”
Installing smoke alarms throughout the home increases the chances of surviving a fire, added Chief Blaser. Additionally, installing alarms strategically enables residents to maximize the benefits of different alarm features and reduce nuisance alarms that can temp people to forgo protection.
On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire. The sooner an alarm is heard, the more time there is to respond.
“The most important thing is to ensure that there are working UL-listed smoke alarms on every floor of the home, in hallways, in living areas, inside bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas,” Chief Blaser explained “It is also important to remember that smoke alarms do not last forever. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years and tested monthly.”
Homeowners should especially make sure they have alarms every bedroom or just outside the bedroom in the hallway. According to a recent report by the U.S. Fire Administration:
* More than half (55 percent) of all home fire fatalities occur in the bedroom.
* More than a third (35 percent) of the victims was asleep at the time of the fire.
* Half of all home fire fatalities occur between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., when most people are asleep.
* Placing smoke alarms in bedrooms as well as in hallways could increase a family’s escape time by up to 15 minutes, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.