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Smoke and CO Detector Safety


Smoke Alarms

     In the United States, 15 of every 16 homes (94%) have at least one smoke alarm. One-half of home fire deaths occur in the 6% of homes with no smoke alarms. Homes with smoke alarms (whether or not they are operational) typically have a death rate that is 40-50% less than the rate for homes without alarms. In three of every 10 reported fires in homes equipped with smoke alarms, the devices did not work. Households with non-working smoke alarms now outnumber those with no smoke alarms. Smoke alarms most often fail because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries. 

Install, Test and Battery Replacement of Smoke Alarms

     1.  Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home (including the basement)

          and outside each sleeping area.

     2.  Because smoke rises, alarms should be mounted high on walls or ceilings.

     3.  Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window, door or forced-air register where

          drafts could interfere with their operation.

     4.  Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

     5.  Install new batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year, for example, on your birthday.

     6.  Replace all smoke alarm batteries immediately upon moving into a new home.

     7.  Keep batteries in smoke alarms; do not borrow them for other purposes.

     8.  Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.