While smoke alarm success stories are powerful reminders of the potentially life-saving difference working smoke alarms can make, there are just as many home fire incidents in the news where dead or missing smoke alarm batteries, or a lack of smoke alarms altogether, carry deadly consequences.
That was the case in Milwaukee, WI, early yesterday morning, when a man died after a kitchen fire broke out in his apartment. There were no working smoke alarms in the unit.
According to Deputy Chief Aaron Lipski of the Milwaukee Fire Department, yesterday's fire death represents an unfortunate pattern for the city. “Every fire related fatality this year in the city of Milwaukee has been in a place that’s had no working smoke detector,” he said.
Clearly, smoke alarms play a pivotal role in home fires. When working properly, they can save lives. When they’re not, the consequences can be deadly.
So remember these basics: Test your smoke alarms each month, change the batteries annually, and replace all smoke alarms in your home every ten years. For more information on smoke alarms, visit NFPA’s Smoke Alarms Central page.