Fire fighting is not a 9-5 job. It can't be left solely to the municipal fire departments. It takes the foresight of citizens like yourself to have an impact on decreasing the number of fire deaths in the country.
Fire experts agree that 40 to 50 percent of the 3700 lives lost in residential fires in the country last year could have been saved if the families had used smoke detectors.
We're pleased that you've taken the first step to making your home safer for your family by learning about smoke detectors and home fire safety.
If you have any additional questions, we're here to help.
Little Rosalie - PBS Star SteveSongs, with the help of Sparky the Fire Dog®, helps kids stay fire safe by leading them through the four key steps for fire safety in this unforgettably catchy sing-along video, complete with fun and easy to follow dance steps and moves. Share this music video and spread the fire-safety message to everyone you know!
Most fire fatalities occur between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.-when people are asleep and their natural "fire sensing equipment" is least effective. These deaths are caused by the inhalation of poisonous gases or smoke, which reach victims before the flames.
Many suffocate without ever waking or even becoming aware of the fire. They die because they had no warning.
A smoke detector can sense a fire and sound aloud alarm while there is time to escape safely.
Smoke detectors are designed to sense particles given off by developing fire.
There are two types of residential fire detection sensing systems: the ionization type and the photoelectronic type.
The ionization type detectors sound their alarm when tiny, invisible products of combustion enter the chamber where air has been ionized. These combustion particles interrupt the ionized current, causing the loud alarm to sound.
Ionization detectors incorporating a bright stationary light are also available. This type of detector is designed to turn on its light when it goes into alarm, thereby providing illumination for an escape path or stairwell.
Photoelectronic type detectors contain a light source whose beam is deflected into a photocell by smoke, sounding an alarm.
There are also new state-of-the-art detectors which combine the ionization and photoelectronic sensing systems in one unit. These provide the optimum coverage for all types of fires.
Tests conducted by the National Bureau of Standards showed ionization detectors to be slightly more effective in detecting flaming fire and photoelectronic models are slightly more effective detecting smoldering fires. Both offer effective protection.
For the best coverage of all types of fires, select one of each type or the combination ionization-photoelectronic model.
A very important thing to look for in purchasing a detector of either type is a listing mark from a licensed testing laboratory. The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listing will assure you of a quality product.
There are two key points to consider here: location in the house and location within the room itself. Photoelectronic type detectors are recommended for each upper level and ionization type detectors are recommended for basements for optimum protection. For small houses or ones where bedrooms all open and one corridor, one detector may be enough. Larger homes need two or more smoke detectors to alert the family to a fire in any part of the house.
Smoke detectors are relatively simple to maintain. Manufacturers recommend that the unit be tested once a week. This can be done by pressing the test button or blowing a small amount of pipe or cigarette smoke into the detector.
Replace the battery twice a year, with time change in all battery-operated smoke detectors and replace the entire unit every ten years. (The detector is designed to emit short "beeps" with increasing frequency when the battery is losing power).
A smoke detector can give a family additional minutes to escape safely. But don't wait until an emergency arises.
Develop and practice an escape plan-and route. Take into account the layout of your home and the ages of your children.
To be able to escape quickly and safely:
Other important considerations include: