Location matters when it comes to your smoke alarm. That’s the message behind this year’s Fire Prevention Month campaign: “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!”
Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind local residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
“In a fire, seconds count,” said public information officer and Fire Captain Keith Mora. “Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out.”
According to the latest NFPA research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Meanwhile, three out of five fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
- Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button. If they don’t respond properly, replace them.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
- If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place.
- Call the fire department from outside the home.
Having working smoke alarms is an easy first step toward keeping yourself safe if a fire occurs, but it’s not the only thing you can do.
“Safety also means having a home fire evacuation plan and practicing it as a family at least twice a year,” said Mora. “Make sure that you know two ways out of each room of your home, and do not block these two areas with furnishings. If you are going to use a window as an escape route, make sure that there are no bars on the windows. If they do have bars, make sure that they have a quick release lever on them. And once you’re out of the house, stay out. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Tell your firefighters instead—they are trained and equipped to perform rescues safely.”
To learn more about smoke alarms, visit our Fire Prevention Month page.