Smoke alarms have become such a common feature in U.S. homes it is easy to take them for granted. Newspapers often report fires in which blaring smoke alarms alerted sleeping occupants to danger. These devices alert countless others to fires just as they are starting. Recent telephone surveys, including 2008 and 2010 surveys conducted for NFPA by Harris and a Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC’s) found that 96-97% of the surveyed U.S. households reported having at least one smoke alarm.
When smoke alarms should have operated but did not do so, it was usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead. People are most likely to remove or disconnect batteries because of nuisance activations. Sometimes the chirping to warn of a low battery is interpreted as a nuisance alarm.
At the Ozark Fire Protection District, we often receive many questions of how many smoke alarms a home should have and also about the operation of a smoke alarm. NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code® requires smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level. They should also be interconnected so that when one sounds, they all sound.
The NFPA recommends changing the battery within the smoke alarm at least once per year, but at the OFPD, we recommend twice per year and follow the motto, “Change your clocks, change your
The OFPD offers a free program to our citizens entitled, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives”. Through donations, this program allows us to provide free smoke alarms to residential homes that currently do
not have working smoke alarms or have smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. This program also offers free battery checks and changes.
For more information on smoke alarms, please visit the NFPA website.
For more information on how to get smoke alarms installed in your home, please Contact Us.