A Columbus, OH family of four lost their lives to an early morning fire this past weekend, caused by embers from their fireplace igniting nearby flammable materials. According to news report, while the home had smoke alarms, investigators found that the batteries were missing.
This tragic incident reinforces the importance of working smoke alarms throughout the home while underscoring a potential fire hazard associated with fireplaces.
Following are reminders to share with your community when using fireplaces. This unfortunate event leaves a painful hole in the community. Fire prevention works best when multiple levels of protection come together. Working smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers, and a home escape plan practiced at least twice a year, give residents a complete system that decrease the chance of a devastating fire while increasing the chances of safely escaping if a fire does indeed break out.
Use these smoke alarm tips to help ensure that your community will know how to protect themselves with smoke alarms, summarized here:
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area.
- Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Fire departments and other organizations have many resources at their disposal to assist people with accessing the fire protection measures they need. These tips make creating a home escape plan easy to understand, and these sharable downloads present useful information regarding home fire sprinklers.