Fire administration kicks off safety campaign
to promote smoke alarms residential sprinklers
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) this week launched an effort to encourage everyone to install and maintain home smoke alarms and, if possible, sprinklers. More than 3,000 people die in home fires each year, and the majority of them have no working smoke alarm. To prevent these deaths, the USFA, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is sponsoring the nationwide Install. Inspect. Protect. Campaign, which emphasizes that “Smoke Alarms Save Lives.”
“The U.S. Fire Administration tracks fatal home fires every day, and it is tragic to see how many deaths are linked to homes without working smoke alarms,” said Kelvin J. Cochran, U.S. Fire Administrator. “The USFA is committed to preventing the loss of life and we want residents and fire fighters to be safe.” He added, “Smoke alarms are inexpensive, easy to install, and easy to maintain. We are asking everyone to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes, and if possible, sprinklers.”
When both smoke alarms and fire sprinklers are present in a home, the risk of dying in a fire is reduced by 82 percent, when compared to a residence without either. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2003-2006, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with either no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
The USFA offers a few helpful tips on smoke alarms and sprinklers:
Place properly installed and maintained smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home.
Interconnected smoke alarms are best, because if one sounds, they all sound.
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that every residence and place where people sleep be equipped with both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
Test smoke alarms monthly and change alkaline batteries at least once every year, or as instructed by the manufacturer. You can use a date you already know, like your birthday or when you change your clocks as a reminder.
If possible, install residential fire sprinklers in your home.
Avoid painting or covering the fire sprinkler, because that will affect the sensitivity to heat.