Below are some tips from the U.S. Fire Administration on keeping your home safe from fires.
While smoke alarms are fairly low-maintenance, they can't be completely ignored.
Use these tips to keep them sharp:
? Replace smoke alarms every decade. After 10 years, they have a 30 percent failure rate.
? Vacuum alarms at least once a year to remove dust, a big contributor to faulty alarms ? Replace batteries every year unless you use the long-life kind
? Avoid using long-life batteries in older smoke alarms as they could render them inoperable
? Install a mix of both ionization and photoelectric alarms. The ionization detectors activate quicker for fast, flaming fires, while the photoelectric detectors respond faster to slow, smoldering fires. smoke alarm location.
To ensure that you'll hear the alarm and be able to respond quickly, it's a good idea to situate them:
? Outside each bedroom area
? In each bedroom
? On every level of your home Though cooking accounts for most home fires, you don't want the alarm going off every time you cook, so make sure it's not too close to the kitchen. new home fire safety If you're building a new home, the smoke alarms should be powered by the house's electrical system and have backup batteries. Also, the alarms should be interconnected so if one unit detects smoke, all units will sound.
While building codes today are stricter regarding fire safety, some fire officials think newer homes are more at risk compared to older homes. New homes are typically more insulated, which keeps fire from escaping and causes it to burn faster and hotter. All the more reason to make sure your fire alarms are in working order.
Other fire safety measures
? Fire sprinklers: To get the facts (and dispel the myths), take a look at the USFA's Home Fire Protection (PDF) to learn why residential fire sprinkler systems are less troublesome than you may think.
? Portable extinguishers: You want to place the extinguisher in a spot that will let you escape. Remember, most of us aren't fire experts. While you may be successful in extinguishing a burning pot, putting the fire out on a mattress might be impossible with a small extinguisher. Getting everyone out of the house and calling the fire department should take priority.
? Windows: To give you and your family room to escape, experts recommend that windows be a minimum of 5.7 square feet. Height should be 24 inches while width needs to be at least 20 inches.