Halesite Fire Department – Smoke Alarms Save Lives
There is no doubt about that. Just a few weeks ago here in Halesite, we responded to a small fire at 4AM, that, had it not been for the smoke alarm, would have gone undetected, becoming a large fire and possibly killing the three people asleep upstairs.
Here are a few thoughts I’d like you to consider:
• New York State Law requires all residential dwellings to have one smoke alarm in each bedroom, one smoke alarm outside of the sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms, and one smoke alarm for each level of the home including basements and attics. If possible, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they’ll all sound.
• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
• Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer’s instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturer’s instructions for testing and maintenance.
• Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at twice a year. The best way to remember to do this is to change your batteries every time you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time. This Sunday, 3/10, clocks should be put ahead by 1 hour, so this is an ideal time to check your detectors.
• Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly.
• If cooking fumes or steam sets off nuisance alarms, replace the alarm with an alarm that has a “hush” button. A “hush” button will reduce the alarm’s sensitivity for a short period of time.
• An ionization alarm with a hush button or a photoelectric alarm should be used if the alarm is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance.
• Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound, may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice.
• Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices use strobe lights. Vibration devices can be added to these alarms.
The complete NYS Building Code for the Installation of Smoke Alarms can be viewed at: http://www.dos.ny.gov/DCEA/pdf/smokedetex.pdf
One final note; your smoke alarm may beep for “low battery” at times and this may sound very similar to the chirping for an actual smoke condition. If you can’t tell the difference, call us right away; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Chief Dan McConnell