Lessons Learned: Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Lessons Learned: Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Change your clocks this weekend AND your smoke alarm batteries.

Smoke alarms save lives. Take a few minutes this weekend to test your smoke alarm and change its batteries. Daylight Saving Time is a great time to not only set back your clocks, but to also check on your smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. When smoke alarms should have worked but failed to operate, it is usually because batteries were missing, disconnected, or dead.

The NFPA provides the following guidelines around smoke alarms:

  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn’t respond properly when tested.
  • Smoke alarms with nonreplaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.


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