- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should not be installed near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
- Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet from cooking appliances.
- Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home - when one sounds, they all do.
Maintaining your smoke alarms:
- Test smoke alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to last up to 10 years.
- For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace the batteries at least once per year.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly; look on the back of the alarm for the date of manufacture.
Smoke alarms may chirp for a variety of reasons:
- Loose or improperly installed battery – verify the recommended type of battery is being used, that it is working, securely installed and the battery door is completely closed.
- Sensing chamber may be dirty – clean the interior of the alarm using compressed air or a vacuum. Clean the exterior of the alarm with a damp cloth and test the alarm after cleaning.
- Batteries or smoke alarm need to be replaced – the batteries or entire unit may need to be replaced if none of the tips above resolve the solution.
Make a plan:
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
- If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place.
- Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a house fire in half. Three out of five fire deaths resulted from fires taking place in homes with no working smoke alarms.