How Often Should You Check The Age Of Your Smoke Alarms? – Tips on Fire Prevention, Part 3 of 4
Do You Know How Often You Should Check The Age Of Your Smoke Alarms?
In honor of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week, Bearingstar is sharing another fire safety blog that has lots of smart ways to keep a fire-related tragedy from happening to you and your loved ones this fall and throughout the upcoming holiday season.
Following is Part III of a four-part blog series featuring important, and easy, precautions you can take to keep your family and home safe from a fire catastrophe.
“Don’t Wait: Check the Date!”
The NFPA’s 2016 Fire Prevention Week theme is “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” We love this year’s focus because it is clearly all about proper preparation in case of a fire event.
The NFPA’s goal is to raise public awareness about the smoke alarm replacement code, NFPA 72, which requires smoke alarms to be replaced at least every 10 years.
Not aware that your smoke alarm had an expiration date? You are not alone. A recent survey conducted by NFPA showed that only a small percentage of people know the age of their smoke alarms and how often they need to be replaced. If your home has smoke alarms that are past their expiration date, you and your family are all at an increased risk in the event of a fire.
According to another NFPA report, in 20 percent of all U.S. homes with smoke alarms, the smoke alarms aren’t working. In addition, three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without smoke alarms or with no working smoke alarms.
To ensure that your Massachusetts and Connecticut home has fully functioning smoke alarms that will alert you and all others in the home to danger, follow these simple procedures:
- Make sure you have a smoke alarm inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement
- Look for the age of the smoke alarms in your home by looking for the date of manufacture on the back or side of the alarm
- Put an auto reminder in your mobile phone that will pop up 10 years from the date of manufacture (or 9 ½ years to be ahead of the game)
- Test the battery and alarm sounder at least monthly
- Replace batteries annually, or when that warning ‘beep’ is sounding (We’re sure you know the one!)
- Clean with a vacuum cleaner at least once a year to remove particles that will affect smoke alarm performance
- Never paint a smoke alarm
- Keep the manufacturer’s guide for all your smoke alarms, as there are multiple styles and brands that have different instructions on how to change batteries, perform maintenance, and more.
Now that you have your smoke alarms in order, check with your Bearingstar insurance agent to make sure you are getting any related homeowners, condo, or renters insurance policy discounts. Savings usually apply! Contact us for more information.
Wondering about other important safety codes for your home that you might be overlooking? You can find all NFPA codes and standards at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
Read past blogs from this series on Safe Yard Waste Removal and Fireplace and Chimney Safety.
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